Want to hear some good news on the state of the global media for a change? The keynote speaker for our 2020 Camden Conference on The Media Revolution: Changing the World, Nicco Mele, provides just that in a report he co-authored for the Shorenstein Center on Media, where he teaches. His report, Digital Pay-Meter: Playbook, finds that the paid digital subscriber business model is catching on among publishers, in preference to sole reliance on advertising revenue. That may not sound like good news at first, but what it means, Mele and his colleagues find, is that publishers are not only more likely to stay in business. They are also coming to prioritize “high-quality, meaningful, trustworthy content” over the sensationalist headlines that put a premium on grabbing the “clicks” advertisers want over quality news coverage and analysis.

The news is anything but good on another scheduled 2020 CC speaker, famed Mexican investigative journalist Lydia Cacho. As of Aug. 31, she remained in “forced displacement” outside Mexico after a July 21 break-in at her home in southern Mexico, in which her professional computer equipment was stolen and her two dogs were killed. Cacho is supposed to be under the protection of federal authorities in Mexico, deemed by the Committee to Protect Journalists to be the most dangerous country for reporters in the Western Hemisphere.     

No fewer than three speakers from our 2015 Russia Resurgent conference appeared among the “Experts on Putin” whose articles made a compilation of views on the Russian president on the occasion of Vladimir Putin’s 20th anniversary in power, on Aug. 9. Keynoter Michael Rojansky and speakers Thomas Graham and Stephen Pifer all contributed to the “framework within which to consider Putin” assembled by Russia Matters, a project of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

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