World Media Policy Forum

Dissecting the big challenges facing publishers, policy makers and civil society: focus on internet governance and right to be forgotten

Today news publishers find themselves sharing the news making process with citizen journalists as well as with social platforms and Silicon Valley. In the words of Emily Bell, Director of Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, “the ‘two cultures’ of engineering and journalism are very different” and the situation has obvious consequences on freedom of expression, “To have our free speech standards, our reporting tools and publishing rules set by unaccountable software companies is a defining issue not just for journalism but the whole of society” . It seems necessary for the content providers to actively participate in the debate on the globalized digital regulatory agenda, and help identify shared values. WAN-IFRA World Media Policy Forum is aimed at providing a networking and knowledge platform for this discussion.

The social changes and consequences of the networked society are still being measured. Nonetheless publishers must evaluate and respond now to rapid technology change with policies that will not only protect the ideals that underpin independent and ethical journalism and press freedom but also business sustainability. As a consequence, it seems that in 2015 publishers, internet giants and civil society find themselves engaging more and more passionately in debates around media policy, with alliances changing dramatically depending on the topic. To help consider appropriate policy responses, WAN-IFRA’s first World Media Policy Forum, designed for publishers, editors, legal counsels, policy makers, press freedom organisations and interested members of the civil society offers a space where legal experts, international institutions and practitioners will contribute to clarify where we stand, and where we are headed.


The Congress and Editors Forum in cooperation with the Newspaper Associate of America is hosting the forum, which will begin with a keynote address delivered by Lee Rainie, Director, Internet, Science and Technology from the Pew Research Center. Rainie is one of the world’s top academic researchers on the internet and the social changes triggered by information and communication technologies (ICT.) He will talk about what research is showing us about privacy strategies and statistics.

Courtney C. Radsch, Ph.D. Advocacy Director, Committee to Protect Journalists, will then lead two debates about news media’s challenges in the networked society addressing the key issues of privacy versus freedoms and right to be forgotten, and of internet governance.

The first debate will be on the topic of right to be forgotten, a subject that took center stage ever since the decision against Google taken by the European Court of Justice last year, now about to become European law. What implications can it have on the right to information, and how are non-Europeans affected? Panelists include:

– Javier Fernández-Samaniego, Partner at Bird & Bird legal firm, recommended by AEDE, the Spanish publishers association, as an expert from the country that started the whole debate

– Caroline Little, President and CEO of NAA, the Newspaper Association of America.

– Carolina Rossini, Vice President for International Policy and Strategy at Public Knowledge, the Brazilian voice of an international point of view.

The second debate will focus on the future of internet governance and the possible implications for the media industry. Panelists include:

– Brad White, Director of Communications, North America, ICANN

– Robert McDowell, Partner, Wiley Rein Llp and former commissioner and senior member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Throughout the two debates, the public will be encouraged to actively participate in the discussion through questions asked both live and through twitter and notecards. The World Media Policy Forum is organized by WAN-IFRA within the annual World News Media Congress, held at the Washington Hilton from 1 to 3 June. For more information on this event please visit

When: Wednesday June 3, 2015 2:00 – 4:30 pm

Where: Washington Hilton 1919

Hall Cabinet

Connecticut Ave NW

Washington, DC 20009

Please register here, and participate on social media by tweeting your questions using #WMPF15 or directly to moderator @courtneyr or to @E_Perotti.