Madrid is ready and waiting!
The IAPA General Assembly is scheduled for
Dear Members and Friends of the IAPA,
Without question, the upcoming IAPA General Assembly will be long remembered for its excellent and exceptional program. Official inauguration will be by King Juan Carlos I and Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero will close the event after a program that includes panel discussions, roundtables and prominent figures such as Mario Vargas Llosa, who has just been confirmed as the keynote speaker for the opening day luncheon.
Before going to Madrid certain steps need to be taken. The first is to complete the registration process and reserve your room at the Meliá Castilla Hotel. The hotel will not confirm reservations after September 15, so please don’t leave this to the last minute. Make your plans so you can take advantage of all there is to see and do during this trip to Madrid. The Host Committee has prepared outstanding programs for spouses and a series of post-convention excursions that you should look over in detail.
Ignacio Polanco and his Host Committee have said WE’RE ALL SET. Along with their Spanish colleagues, they have spared no efforts so that IAPA representatives from the Americas are treated to an unforgettable experience sampling the culture and arts of the old continent.
There are many good reasons for you to join us. First, the Meliá Castilla Hotel, located in the heart of the upscale La Castellana district, is offering an unbeatable luxury room rate of 158 euros, a rate you won’t find anywhere else in Europe. Second, take a look at the information that official airline Iberia has provided – it is offering fares with up to a 45% discount along with a number of other special concessions. And third, first-time delegates have a special registration fee of $625. So things couldn’t be better!
The academic program
The Host Committee reports that this year’s program features cutting-edge panel discussions focused on practical issues.
• Integrating newsrooms: the online newspaper as the center of the universe in newspaper production. Multimedia ventures demand the physical adaptation of spaces. Tele-commuting. Case histories and experiences of newsroom integration in Europe. Moderator: Rosenthal Alves, director of the Knight Center for Journalism, University of Texas, Austin, Texas. Panelists: William Lewis, editor of The Daily Telegraph, London, England; Wolfgang Vyslozil, president of Austria Press Agency (APA) and president of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA); Torry Pederson, director of online content of the VG Group, Norway; Jean-François Fogel, editor of Le Monde, Paris, France, and Jesús del Río, assistant director of Prisacom, Madrid, Spain.
• How shall we sell ourselves? Self-promotion. Promotions to increase circulation. Retooling advertising for new outlets. From paper to the Internet. Panelists: José Manuel Fernández, director, Público, Lisboa, Portugal; Francisco Cuadrado Pérez, Grupo Santillana General Editions, Madrid, Spain, and Hortensia Fuentes, business manager, El País, Madrid, Spain.
• Training the new tech-savvy professionals. Journalism schools and universities revamp their lesson plans. The “digital generation” is like a fish in the water that doesn’t get caught in the net. Moderator: Raúl Kraiselburd, El Día, La Plata, Argentina. Panelists: Jaime Abello, director, F.N.I.P., Cartagena de Indias, Colombia; Alicia Casermeiro, Institute of Journalism, Argentine Catholic University, Buenos Aires; Ramón Salaverría, director of the Multimedia Laboratory (MMLab) of Navarra University School of Communication, Spain; Joaquín Estefania, director of the El País School of Journalism, Madrid, Spain, and Amancio Fernández, ABC School of Journalism Madrid, Spain.
• Content distribution and the major search engines. The Google example. Friend or Foe? Copyright. Speakers: Krishna Bharat, creator of Google News; Andrew Moger, News Media Coalition (NMC), and Margaret Boribon, Editorial belga Copiepresse, Belgium.
A cultural program on the Spanish language, with the participation of the Academies of the Spanish Language of Spain, Mexico and Argentina, is also a “do not miss” experience.
The seminars, scheduled across the entire General Assembly, will be conducted by prominent European experts. “What we want to do is highlight what is happening in Spain today,” we were told from Madrid. Both the seminars and the main panel discussions will be strongly and clearly influenced by developments in European journalism, but will also incorporate the best of what is to be seen today in the United States.
The seminars will focus on such issues as the standards and laws to access official information. Others include:
—The value of “free”. The phenomenon of free and easy-to-read newspapers. Panelists: Sverre Munck, president of 20 Minutos España, S.A., Madrid, Spain, and Albert Montagut, director of ADN, Spain.
—The press and climate change. The media’s responsibility to protect the planet. Moderator: César Dopazo, professor in Department of Science and Technology of Materials and Fluids and adviser to Durao Barroso, Zaragoza, Spain. Panelists: Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, a United Nations scientific body), and Manuel Toharia Cortés, president of the Spanish Association of Scientific Journalism and director general of the Museum of Sciences, Valencia, Spain.
—In search of new readers. Audiences’ tastes have changed. New technologies for new audiences. Social networks and blogs. Panelists: Emily Bell, director of digital content for Guardian News, Britain; Klaus Meier, journalism professor at the University of Applied Sciences, Darmstadt, Austria, and Stefanie Himoff, vice president, Pluck Social Media, United Kingdom.
—New Challenges: The mobile phone as a news content receiver. Panelists: Michael Cooper, president/director of Microsoft, Britain; Paul Brannan, editor of BBC Emerging Platforms, Britain, and the person in charge of Telefónica, Spain.
— Journalists’ on-the-job Safety. Dying to report. Moderator: Enrique Santos Calderón, El Tiempo, Bogotá, Colombia. Panelists: Giuliana Sgrena, Il Manifesto, Italy, kidnapped in Iraq; Sarah de Jong, International News Safety Institute (INSI), Brussels, Belgium; David Dadge, Director, International Press Institute (IPI), Vienna, Austria; Fernando Castelló, international president of Reporters Without Borders, Paris, France and Niko Price, editor director for Latin America of AP.
Dinners and lunches
The welcome reception on Saturday evening will be held at the convention hotel with entertainment by La Tuna. (student serenaders). On Sunday the mayor of Madrid will host a reception and dinner in the lushly landscaped Cecilio Rodríguez Gardens in Retiro Park, located in the heart of the city.
On Monday, following the official opening by King Juan Carlos I, there will be a lunch with the participation of renowned Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa and that evening a dinner hosted by El País is scheduled at the Municipal Convention Center in the Campo de las Naciones district. During the dinner the 2008 IAPA Awards are due to be presented, followed by a performance by Diego “El Cigala,” the famous Flamenco singer and producer of “Lágrimas Negras” (Black Tears), a musical album he created with Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés.
Spouses and post-convention excursions
You will likely see little of your spouses and partners during this General Assembly. Daily activities begin on Friday, October 4 at 9:00 a.m. with a visit to Aranjuez, site of the some of the most beautiful gardens in the world and a place that won special renown thanks to Joaquín Rodrigo’s musical composition Concierto de Aranjuez. The visit there will wind up with lunch at a restaurant founded in 1908 adjacent to the Royal Palace and Gardens.
On Saturday, spouses will travel by high speed train (AVE in its Spanish acronym) to Segovia to visit the Alcázar, the Roman Aqueduct and the cathedral, among other beautiful sights in the city.
Sunday’s program includes a trip to Old Madrid, known locally as Madrid de los Austrias, taking in the Oriente Palace; Almudena Cathedral, headquarters of the Madrid diocese; Oriente Square, an initiative of Joseph Bonaparte, and a number of other historical places, among them Sacramento Street, La Paja Square, San Isidro and the magnificent Main Square.
On Monday all participants will make a special visit to El Prado Museum. And on Tuesday, our last day, there will be a visit to San Francisco el Grande basilica, and then on to Flamenco dancing classes in the Las Vistillas district, winding up with tapas (bar snacks) and sangría.
Please take a look at the section on Excursions for Spouses and Partners, which will give you a good idea of the unique charm awaiting you. This information is available at www.sipiapa.org. Also included is a wide range of post-convention tours in both Spain and across the strait of Gibraltar in Morocco, in France to the north and in Portugal to the west for those who are able to stay beyond the General Assembly. The brochure will give you full information on all of these options.
Editors and Publishers Excursion
The Host Committee has just advised us that it has prepared a post-convention excursion for editors and publishers interested in visiting a number of newspapers in the Spanish provinces. The tour will be to Andalusia, visiting the Ideal in Granada and El Sur in Malaga, and then on to the Basque Country (Bilbao and San Sebastian), where the visit will be to the area’s two leading newspapers, El Correo and El Diario Vasco. Please let us know if you would like to take part and we will send you details and costs.
As previously mentioned, Iberia is the event’s official airline and offers special rates. To learn about fares and make your reservation please contact Alicia Teves, United States Direct Sales Chief, at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Isis González-Valencia at email@example.com
In Europe the contact is: Rosa Martín Martín, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Have the following information to hand:
–Convention number: 20700713
–Type of seat: Coach or Business
–Number and date of flight (flight schedules can be obtained from www.iberia.com)
Iberia is offering discounts of up to 40% - 45% on full coach and business class fares. There is no charge for changes or refunds.
The Meliá Castilla Hotel is located just a few yards from Madrid’s main street, the Paseo de la Castellana, and, as we mentioned, has offered specially reduced room rates for IAPA delegates. The hotel is regarded as one of the most modern convention centers in Europe, with capacity for more than 1,000 and including an auditorium equipped with state-of-the-art technology. It also offers varied cuisine in its famous restaurant L’Albufera, known for featuring the widest variety of rice dishes and paellas in all Madrid.
The hotel is located in a modern residential and commercial district, surrounded by restaurants and stores, very close to the Santiago Bernabeu soccer stadium and just a five-minute walk from the Convention Center. It is the perfect venue for an important General Assembly.
Please accept this invitation. Do come and join us for this great gathering.
Julio E. Muñoz, Ph.D