PANPA conference notes

Today I attended the PANPA (Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers’ Association) conference where I spoke on a panel with Mark Jones and Hugh Martin about blogging and podcasting.

The most surprising thing about the day was that most of the sessions I sat in had the same message from a variety of speakers: the media business is changing fast, hold on to your hats. For once I wasn’t the only guy pushing that barrow. It kind of threw me – what’s my value if I’m not the crazy futurist guy?
Still, I think I managed to ruffle some feathers during our panel, so my role is still safe for a while yet.

Here’s my raw notes from the day’s sessions.

Robert Whitehead, President, PANPA
State of the industry address:

"the future for newspapers is only
bleak if we fail to respond"
"media is diversiying at an
enormous rate and adveritisng spend
is fragmenting"
"failing to respond to disruptive
change… we no longer fear change"
newspaper media… reflects all the
things we do… competing for the
quick consumer fix for news updates
that used to be the mainstay of
radio… online sites focusing on
consumer participation…

Alexander Downer, Foreign Minister:

one of the good things about being
a politician and mixing with the
media is that you know you are
mixing with a profession that is
held in as low a regard as yours is
by the general population.

…blah blah blah "national
values"”…. blah blah blah
"national identity"…

it is sometimes claimed that no two
democracies have gone to war with
each other, i don’t know if its
true but it is almost true
re islamic values…
in the 1990s we heard a lot about
"asian values". we don’t hear much
about that any more. asia is an
increasing democratic place. with a
few very notable exceptions.

(Cameron aside: values values values… i always
worry when I hear pollies and
corporate execs talk about values.
What are ‘australian values’

making lots of complaints about the
quality and accuracy of the
reporting coming out of the middle
east… claiming that reports about
lebanese civilian deaths are
distorted by the media and that it
is suffering a credibility gap in
the minds of the populace.
Seems to think it is only the
government that can distort the
story to suit its needs.
rights and responsibilities…
every newspaper has the right to
publish the cartoons (danish
islamic cartoons) but they need to
think through the consequences.

main point –
the values that underpin the free
press also underpin our wider
foreign policy.
For all the negative reports that
have come out of australia over my
time, I think the Hanson is the

David Kirk, CEO, Fairfax:

changing its name… fairfax media
instead of john fairfax holdings…
its an important statement of where
the company if heading. how we
conceive of our company and our
mission in the 21st century. what
these mean in a world of
convergence driven by the internet.
online #1 news position in
australia and #2 in classifieds.
best known online service Websites 3.5million
uniques every month. Trademe has
1.6 million users.
32.8 million blogs as of last week.
Wikipedia stats…
world will take 100billion
amazon has 2.3 million books…
two laws:
media is always changing
audiences are always fragmenting
always been that way, but happening
miles davis "if you arent nervous,
you arent paying attention"
history of our industry is always
about threat and adaptation
more people reading our content in
print and online than ever before
in our history
television more under threat
FTA TV in oz lost 11% of its
paper audience is stable in total
I spend the vast majority of my
time on these changes.
managing change…
having the right people with the
right skills in the right place at
the right time and resources to
the strategy for fairfax
3 priorities
1. defend and grow the newspapers
2. build strong online businesses
3. become a genuinely integrated
digital media company
broadband a key factor for growth,
intend FF to be a key provider of
content over broadband.

robert cauthorn CEO CityTools:
[email protected]
the "we talk, you listen" model is

Rebecca Huntley, Gen Y author:
brand disloyal
technology is a necessity in their
lives, not a luxury
value change and diversity
the mobile phone is the icon of
this generation, understand the
role it plays in their lives, its
far more than that, its a personal
accessory, entertainment, its all
invested in the phone, like a part
of their body, if they left it at
home its like someone cut their
hand off, *audience sniggered*,
not merely about being able to
download stuff off the net,
technology has changed this
generations attitude towards time
and space. The first generation to
see itself as truly global. Sharing
a global youth culture. Don’t see
it as American, just see it as
their culture. Don’t engage in
national politics. Don’t believe
the future of the world happens in
Canberra. More interested in global
events, international concerns,
truly active though at the local
Gen Y are a reaction to Gen X.
Conventional approach to life, have
learned from Gen X not to leave
marriage and children too late.
Want to be self-employed so they
have more work/life balance.

Jim Chisholm, iMedia:
by 2015
between 25% – 70% of print will
have moved to online
all this content is free
interest in news media will have
dropped for a third
over 180 free dailies worldwide
20% of all circulation in Europe
are now from free titles
which of you would pay to watch the
news on TV every night? nobody put
up their hand. yet people pay for
the newspaper. why?
in many european countries, free
dailes are the #1 circulation
the "one version" newspaper idea is
dead – mercedes gives its cutomers
choice, why don’t newspapers?
Aus/NZ lead the world for internet
penetration in classified

Steve James from Commercial Radio
Australia told them that radio
growth was going to be strong.
Whaaat??? ROFL!

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