Charlottetown hosts newspaper industry’s largest annual conference

Jim Day
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Newspapers Canada/Newspapers Atlantic are holding their annual conference in Charlottetown. The Conference is called Ink+Beyond and is presented in association with Prince Edward Island's 2014 celebrations. Wednesday night there was a welcome reception and tipping their hats to the event are from left Suzanne Raitt, vice-president of marketing and innovation for Newspapers Canada; Peter Kvarnstrom, president of community media for Glacier Media Group; Heather Tedford, director of sales and marketing TC Media P.E.I.; Hugh Nichlson, division manager of Vancouver Island Newspaper Group and Julie Murtha, associate director of business development Toronto Star.

Hundreds of delegates should be able to get a good read on the newspaper industry in Canada during a national conference being held this week in Charlottetown.

The annual event, hosted in P.E.I. for the first time, covers all aspects of the newspaper business with speaker sessions and educational workshops designed for all departments including editorial, advertising, circulation and management.

The conference attracts senior-level executives from newspapers of all market sizes from across Canada, as well as executives from the corporate ownership groups.

Delegates also include editors, advertising managers, circulation directors and marketing staff from large and small daily and community newspapers.

Consultant Mark Challinor examines the future of newspapers and the increasing influence of mobile and tablet devices in a keynote address today.

Christie Blatchford, the thought-provoking, award-winning columnist for the National Post will also join a list of influential industry players speaking at the conference, called Ink + Beyond.

Frida Lundt, owner of the largest daily newspaper in Sweden and a worldwide leader in second wave digital media, tablets and mobile, will talk about his paper’s successful shift to getting half the advertising revenue from digital products.

Scandal-plagued Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will also be front and centre at the conference - at least as fodder for a discussion on investigative journalism.

The Toronto Star editor Michael Cooke and Kevin Donovan, an investigative reporter with the paper, will go behind the headlines of Canada’s largest daily newspaper that first published startling allegations of a video that purportedly shows Ford smoking crack cocaine to show how the Star “is changing its newsroom culture by inserting itself into the story to expose the truth and instigate change.’’

Alan Torrie, president and CEO of Morneau Sheppell, will give a keynote speech on the impact mental health issues like stress has on workforce productivity. He provides insight into how high stress and poor mental health generally contribute to rising absenteeism and lower workforce productivity.

A roundtable discussion will be held Friday for community newspaper staff to discuss current challenges and opportunities with Mike Kierstead, executive director of Newspapers Atlantic, and Kevin Hiscock, provincial sales manager with TC Media Newfoundland among the several facilitators.

On Friday, reporters, photographers, editors and publishers from all parts of Canada will gather to celebrate and honour excellence in Canadian daily journalism at the 65th National Newspaper Awards gala at the Delta Prince Edward as well as the Canadian Community Newspaper Awards.

Organizations: National Post, Ink + Beyond, TC Media Newfoundland National Newspaper Canadian Community Newspaper

Geographic location: Canada, Charlottetown, P.E.I. Sweden Toronto

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