Warsaw session explored the latest best practice -- and new ideas

Winners of 2013 World Young Reader Prizes received 
their awards, told how they did it and then explored 
new territories with the other participants at 
WAN-IFRA's Youth Engagement Summit in Warsaw,

Aslak Gottlieb of Denmark. left, interviewed Polish 
students Emilia Kolodziej and Piotr Slugocki, who then 
judged participants' proposals in the Ideathon

News executives from 22 countries who already do well 
at engaging the young spent two and a half days in 
Warsaw this week at WAN-IFRA’s Youth Engagement 
Summit & Workshops exploring how to do even
“This meeting was NOT for people who wanted to 
discuss how important young readers are for the 
future of newspapers,” explained Grzegorz Piechota, 
Head of Editorial Development for Gazeta Wyborcza, 
which hosted the event. “We know it already. 
We met rather to share case studies on successful
initiatives, to discuss in detail what works and 
what is a waste of money, and to network with 
people like us who prefer to face challenges in 
a bold way instead of only talking about them.”
And bold they were.

First participants heard the winners of the 2013 
World Young Reader Prizes share the lessons 
for others in their successes.Then they explored 
how to work with corporate partners, how to think
again about sustainable print editions for children 
and how to do truly effective digital-first connections.
Then they  engaged in an “Ideathon” led by the 
Knight Foundation's Chris Sopher and Danish 
Newspapers in Education (NIE) expert Aslak Gottlieb 
that included testing some new ideas on a two-person 
panel of Polish teenagers after creating personas 
based on their likes and dislikes.
Panel member Piotr Slugocki, 19, a music lover and 
drummer, said he “didn’t read newspapers ever” and 
both he and Emilia Kolodziej, 17, agreed that if they 
needed to find out breaking news they’d turn to the 
internet, radio or just “call my mother.”
Personas of Piotr and EmiliaPersonas of Piotr and Emilia

Their personas -- depicted visually by artist Julian 
Kücklich –- included demographics, habits and 
behaviors to were used by the group to 
brainstorm new products that would catch
their attention, and ultimately their loyalty.
Emilia’s “persona” described her as loving books, 
especially Tolkien and fantasy, fire dancing and
her mobile phone.
Throughout the three-day summit many particpants 
and speakers commented on the importance of focusing
on life stage interests and content rather than only 
considering a young person's age. This left the 
participants with a challenge: how to harness Piotr 
and Emilia's interests to improve their news literacy, 
and set up them up to be lifelong readers.

Participants had to pitch ideas to the student panel.
Pitches included a tailored newsfeed that grows only
with your interests, user-generated reviews on music
and books by youth, and a to-make-it-happen 
application where users showcase their wishes in 140
characters and readers vote for the best dream.
Emilia and Piotr said they liked most of the ideas, 
especially ones that targeted just their interests. 
At the close of the session, participants were able to 
pitch their own idea that could become the next
innovation at home.
From left, Markus, Alexandra, Cristiane, Aslak and Chris.From left, Markus, Alexandra, Cristiane, Aslak and Chris.

Other members of the Ideathon team were Alexandra
Waldhorn of WAN-IFRA and Radio France International,
Markus Pettersson of Resultatfabriken Consulting in Sweden)
and Cristiane Parente, former youth programme director
for ANJ, the Brazilian publishers association and now a
researcher at Minho University in Portugal, and Dr.
Aralynn McMane, WAN-IFRA executive director for
youth engagement and news literacy.
Both of the Polish students have been involved with
the Junior Media programme of Polskapresse, which
arranged for their participation, along with their
teacher Monika Konopnicka.


Several organizations helped make the event possible:
Gazeta Wyborcza, which contributed the venue,
staff and other crucial elements of support; Polskapresse,
which hosted several key events and people; IWP,
the Polish publishers association, which heartily endorsed
and publicized the event; The Knight Foundation,
which provided a key team member;Chevron Indonesia,
which supported key elements of the event, the Indian 
Embassy in Warsaw, which hosted an event to honor
the publishers who combined efforts to make India the
World Young Reader Country of the Year, the
European Newspaper Publishers Association, which
provided a guide to top-notch media literacy actions
by European news publishers, and the Warsaw 
Tourism Bureau, which helped make sure particpants
could expore and better understand Poland's capitol city.
Here is a look some ways they helped.
Gazeta Wyborcza founding editor Adam Michnik (top) 
opened the session noting that the events in Ukraine 
served as a sobering reminder that democracy and freedom
are neither guaranteed nor easy to assure, and editorial 
director Grzegorz Piechota reminded the audience at 
the special Presidential Palace session about the 
path to and lessons of Poland’s own hard-won democracy.
Marketing director Magdalena Chudzikiewicz (center) 
shared the secrets of success of youth-related partnerships. 
The company provided two students from the 
Polskapresse JuniorMedia initiatlive (Piotr Slugocki,at 
left, and Emilia Kolodziej, at right) to help participants 
practice creating personas to help them better 
determine effective modes of youth engagement.
A working group of IWP, the Polish national publishers 
association, met in a session hosted by Poskapresse to 
explore with representatives of such associations in 
Ireland, Brazil (with Cristiane Parente talking about 
Media Literacy), Norway, Finland and Russia various
options for a joint youth action in Poland. 
Kicking off the session was IWP president Wieslaw 
Podkanski of Ringer Axel Springer Polska. 
The Knight Foundation kindly provided Christopher 
Sopher, journalism programme associate, to lead an 
Ideathon designed to help participants transform a few 
– or even one -- of the many ideas that came to them 
during the summit into workable actions they could 
actually do once they returned to the 
realities of the office.
Harry Bustamen of Chevron Indonesia, above center, 
reminded participants about why a corporation might 
want be a partner with a news publisher in efforts 
than enhance the education of young citizens, 
especially in ways that combine basic knowledge with
news literacy. Chevron and the Jakarta Post 
Foundation supported the all-important transport 
of participants around chilly Warsaw. 

Indian ambassador to Poland Monika Kapil Mohta 
hosted a get-together for all the 2013 World Young 
Reader Prize winners from 21 countries in honor 
of the Indian news publishers who combined to 
win that country WAN-IFRA's World Young Reader 
Country of the Year award.  She is pictured here 
with the news executives representing the 
country: from The Telegraph, The Times of India, 
Mathrubhumi, I-next, Malayala Manorama, Dainik 
Bhaskar Group and The Hindu. It is only the 
second time WAN-IFRA has made such a 
country-level award, with Brazil being the 
first such honoree in 2005.

The media literacy committee of the European 
Newspaper Publishers Association, chaired 
by Danièle Fonck of Editpresse, Luxembourg, 
provided copies of its new compendium of the
wide variety of actions by news organizations 
that help youth learn about the news all 
over Europe. Details and a PDF download of the 
publication are available here: 
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ENPA guide


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