The Sept. 2-5 event brought together about 1,000 of the most influential publishers, CEOs, journalists and media professionals from all over the world. The focus was to share industry knowledge of best practices.
The organization, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, is also a leader in the never-ending global struggle for free expression. For the most part, Ukrainians – as during the Euro 2012 football games – did a great job showcasing their great hospitality. Many participants came away impressed with the beauty of the city and its people. We need more such international events.
However, holding the conference in Kyiv is not without ironies. Some people thought the organization should have boycotted Ukraine because of President Viktor Yanukovych’s rollbacks in press freedoms since taking power in 2010. We, however, agree with conference organizers that the event presented a fantastic opportunity to spotlight – before the nation and the world – the creeping authoritarianism in the nation.