The GEN Summit 2017

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What will be the key topics for your industry in 2017?

A few selected topics within the industry have reshaped the work of legacy media and digital native alike and will likely be challenging the news ecosystem in the foreseeable future:

Artificial and Intelligence: beyond newsbots, machine learning as we are only seeing a fragment of now is going to lead toward a bigger and better personalisation, getting closer to the user and its environment. The risk of course is an increase in the filter bubble phenomenon.

Fake news and fact-checking: as Europe is geared toward a year heavy with general elections first with the Netherlands, then France, followed by Germany, the media ought to be aware and prepared to face the problems met in Indonesia, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the US last year. Some tools and practices are being launched specifically for the purpose of debunking false claims and to involve readers in the process. Decodex from Le Monde comes to mind, as it was launch just a few days ago and is truly an ingenious tool. These issues raise quite a few questions about the roles of Facebook and Google, as they have been instrumental in the dissemination of dubious news over the past few months and have yet to take a true stance on this.

Short videos, may they come from Snap or Instagram Stories, and how they are shaping how Generation Z is consuming news today, and how they will do so tomorrow. The New York Times is allocating a full team to Snap Discovery. This will contribute to the evolution of the news industry, in what way this is yet unsure: the challenge here is for the redefinition of news consumption not to go down the entertainment route too much.

Tell us more about the theme of The GEN Summit in 2017?

The theme for the GEN Summit 2017 is From Post Truth to Virtual Reality: Navigating Media’s Future

Following Brexit, the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and with the perspective of 20 general elections to come across the globe in the coming year, it had become obvious that editors-in-chief want to debate on the role of legacy media and new players in our democracies: what to make of fact-checking and how to tackle this specific issue within newsrooms, the difficulty for traditional media and millennial-oriented websites to reach some of the communities flocking to disinformation websites; the lessons to be learnt from the problems raised by the coverage of the US election and how to help editors avoid these mistakes US media organisations made and adjust to populist campaigns.

The three days of the conference are divided along three topics that are the main challenges met by the industry today: Disruption, Innovation and Cooperation. We will explore and discuss over several keynotes and sessions how to address the issues outlined above, but also the next steps and what is ahead for the industry.

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