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    Essential networking events for publishers across Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, Middle East and North America. 

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WAN-IFRA is calling on its supporters around the globe to nominate great speakers for our events.

All Speakers

  • Managing Director of First Draft News, United Kingdom

    Jenni Sargent is the Managing Director of First Draft News  an organisation set up in 2015 to provide guidance and training for journalists in social newsgathering and verification. In September 2016, she coordinated and launched the First Draft Partner Network, the first initiative of its kind to bring together global newsrooms and social networks to collaborate on tackling common issues relating to sourcing and reporting online information. Jenni is also a director of Eyewitness Media Hub and part of a research team responsible for exploring the impact of media attention on eyewitnesses who have shared their images online. Previously she founded Digital Skills Network, a digital training company that developed resources for newsrooms and NGOs.
  • Editor, Investigations, Indian Express, India

    Ritu Sarin, 59, is currently Executive Editor (News and Investigations) in The Indian Express and has a career in journalism of over 35 years. She has earlier worked in The Delhi Recorder magazine, The Sunday magazine and The Pioneer newspaper. In 1996, she joined The Indian Express as head of its Investigative Bureau. In the Indian Express, Sarin led a team of investigative reporters and individually, wrote some memorable stories.

    This included The Tata Tapes (1997); the expose on breech of security in Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's office ( 2011); the illegal troop movement (2012); the inquiry report of the Army's Technical Support Division ( 2014); the Birla tax case (2015) and the Essar Leaks (2015). In 1999, Sarin was nominated to become a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and over the past few years, she has headed teams in The Indian Express which have probed bank accounts and off shore companies held by Indians in different tax havens. The first investigation was into Indians incorporating companies in the BVI (2013); the complete data on HSBC account holders (2015); the Panama Papers (2016) and the Paradise Papers (2017). In each case, the Government has set up tax probe teams and recovered sizeable amounts of undeclared tax. The Panama Papers internationally won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism. The latest ICIJ project which she led for the newspaper was the 2018 investigation into faulty implants and medical devices titled 'The Implant Files.' Recently, Sarin was nominated to be a founder member of ICIJ's network committee, responsible for expanding the organisation's membership base and to laise with the top rung of the investigative journalism body.

    Sarin herself has been recipient of the 2007 Ramnath Goenka Journalist of the Year award. In 2011, she received the Prem Bhatia award for best investigative journalist and in 2017 she along with members of The Indian Express team received the Ramnath Goenka award for investigative journalism for the Panama Papers. In 2018, she was awarded the prestigeous International Press Institute (IPI-India) award for excellenge in journalism to be followed in 2019 by the Red Ink award of the Mumbai Press Club for the Implant Files investigation. Recently, Sarin has been nominated to be a founder member of Watchdog Asia, a new group of investigative reporters from all over Asia.

    She has attended investigative conferences and conducted workshops in several countries and was a plenary session speaker at the 2017 Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Johanesburg. She is the author of a book, an investigative account of the assasination of Indira Gandhi, published by Penguin in 1990.

  • Deputy Head of Audience Engagement, Financial Times, United Kingdom

    Hannah Sarney works as both an editor and advocate for the future of newsrooms, pushing for innovations that will improve reach, relevance and genuine engagement with readers. She helps lead a newsroom team that is focused on creating and implementing audience-first strategies. Her projects aim to drive editorial analytics ever deeper into newsroom practice and bring stakeholders together from the newsroom, product, analytics, marketing and events.


  • CEO, Chartbeat, USA

    John is Chief Executive Officer of Chartbeat. He has worked on the cutting-edge of media and technology for 17+ years, setting the daily operations and business development agendas of companies as diverse as Google, NBC-Universal and vente-privee. John received his undergraduate degree in History from Haverford College and a joint degree in Law and Business from Columbia University.

  • Chief Executive Officer, Chartbeat, USA

    John Saroff is Chief Executive Officer of Chartbeat, the leading content intelligence platform used by more than 50,000 of the world's top media properties in over 60 countries. Chartbeat believes that meaningful stories matter wherever they live, and that in an increasingly mobile, social world, Chartbeat is the only analytics solution newsrooms rely on to understand consumer attention and make the most of their quality content on site and offsite. John has worked on the cutting-edge of media and technology for 17+ years, setting the daily operations and business development agendas of companies as diverse as Google, NBC-Universal and vente-privee. John received his undergraduate degree in History from Haverford College and a joint degree in Law and Business from Columbia University.

  • Head of the ATC Innovation Lab, ATC, Greece

    Nikos Sarris photo

    Nikos Sarris is the Head of the ATC Innovation Lab, working on new technologies with a focus on the media sector. For the last 20 years he has been working in R&D projects as a researcher, project manager and coordinator of large multinational consortia. Lately he has mainly been involved in projects focusing on the semantic 'understanding' of news content and the assessment of its trustworthiness. He is currently managing two related products on behalf of ATC: TruthNest and TrulyMedia.

  • Community Editor, The Economist, UK

    Adnan Sarwar is the Community Editor for The Economist. He manages a team of writers and producers to serve social media channels with the newspaper's words, charts, images, films and audio.

    The Economist has a global digital audience of over 50 million people and this is served daily across all time zones. The Economist has made a significant and long term commitment to social media and Adnan has been with the team since its inception.

    Previously he was a freelance writer for the Financial Times after winning the Financial Times Essay Prize in 2013 for an essay about his time in the British military. After leaving the army, where he had served in the Iraq War, Adnan worked for the BBC and ITV in production. Most recently he presented Dangerous Borders, where he travelled the whole of Pakistan to show the country 70 years after its partition from India.

  • CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Mittelbayerischer Verlag KG, Germany

    After his academic high school diploma at the Goethe-Gymnasium Regensburg Manfred Sauerer started in 1977 its studies of chemistry at the University of Regensburg. Also in 1977 - parallel to his studies - he made his first work experiences at the Mittelbayerische Verlag. Later on he became trainee journalist and after that editor. In the following years he held the positions as Head of the sports-department, Managing Chief, Head of the interregional resort and as Co-Editor in Chief. Since January, 17th, 2007 he is Editor in Chief of the Mittelbayerische Zeitung. In 2008 Manfred Sauerer became Member of the Managing Board of the Mittelbayerischer Verlag KG ansd 2014 he became Co-CEO.

  • Vice President Consumer Marketing, GateHouse Media, USA

    Robert has been in the newspaper industry for 30 years with experiences in consumer marketing, strategic planning, delivery operations, and customer care. He began his career at The Boston Globe and New York Times Company and over the next 25 years focused on consumer marketing and audience development. His accomplishments included deployments of innovative technology platforms to include Oracle Service Cloud, SalesForce Marketing Cloud, Consumer APPs, and omni-channel customer care platforms. He moved to GateHouse Media in 2014 and is currently Vice President of Consumer Marketing. His focus at GateHouse Media has been standardizing and scaling corporate initiatives and centralizing digital and home delivery sales operations. He obtained a BS in Engineering from Rutgers University and was awarded The New York Times Presidents award for strategic initiatives for print revenue. He is an avid sailor and heavily involved in community affairs in Boston, his home town. 

  • Sharad Saxena, Executive Director – Operations, HT Media Ltd, India

    Mr. Sharad Saxena has rich and diverse experience of more than 35 years, spanning Research & Development, Operations, Supply Chain and Human Resources spread over different industry verticles – Railways, Automobiles, Food & Beverages and Media.

    He has held key leadership roles in large MNCs and companies forming part of reputed Indian business houses.

    Mr. Saxena graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Mesra.

  • Director-Supply Chain, HT Media, India

    Mr. Neelkant is a Director of Supply Chain at HT Media. He has extensive experience of over 3 decades in Integrated global supply chains in FMCG industries including last 5 years with HT media, a leading publishing printing company. He has led various initiatives in HT to drive end to end supply chain efficiencies and safety & sustainability. Under his leadership, HT supply chain has expanded manufacturing footprint in new Hindi markets with capital efficiency and developed a robust program to raise total cost productivity in supply chain in collaboration with selected suppliers. In additions to various product innovations, HT is also working on innovative ideas on Open access solar power in factories and value optimisation projects. Neel’s current focus is to reconfigure HT media supply chain to be future ready to meet revenue challenges facing print industry.
  • Media Account Manager, Latin America South, Reuters, Argentina

  • Managing Director, Druckerei Konstanz GmbH, Germany

    Die Druckerei ist Teil des Unternehmensnetzwerkes SÜDKURIER Medienhaus, das zum Augsburger Unternehmen Mediengruppe Pressedruck gehört. Deshalb kann die Druckerei Konstanz eine große Bandbreite an Produktvariationen und Leistungen anbieten. Durch die Zusammenarbeit mit den anderen Tochterunternehmen des SÜDKURIER Medienhauses entstehen spannende Synergieeffekte. Diese machen es möglich, innovative und zukunftsorientierte Gesamtlösungen anzubieten, die umfangreicher sind als der reine Druck von Publikationen.

    The print plant is part of the corporate network SÜDKURIER Medienhaus, which belongs to the Augsburg-based Mediengruppe Pressedruck. This is why Druckerei Konstanz can offer a wide range of product variations and services. The cooperation with the other subsidiaries of SÜDKURIER Medienhaus creates exciting synergy effects. These make it possible to offer innovative and future-oriented complete solutions that are more comprehensive than the mere printing of publications.

  • General Manager, Suddeutscher Verlag Zeitungsdruck, Germany

    Josef Schiessl
  • CEO, Civil Media Foundation, USA

    Vivian Schiller é executiva de mídia e tecnologia com mais de 25 anos de experiência. Mais recentemente, como presidente global de notícias no Twitter. Nessa função, Schiller liderou a estratégia da empresa para notícias e parcerias com organizações jornalísticas e com o ecossistema de publicação de notícias. Pouco antes de ingressar no Twitter, Schiller atuou como vice-presidente sênior e diretora digital da NBC News, onde ela supervisionou de maneira estratégica e operacional a presença da organização em rede: internet, dispositivos móveis e mídias sociais. O títulos em seu portfólio incluíram,,, e BreakingNews. Antes da NBC, Schiller atuou como Presidente e CEO da NPR, liderando todas as operações mundiais de mídia da empresa. Ela foi vice-presidente sênior e gerente geral do e vice-presidente sênior e gerente geral do Discovery Times Channel, uma joint venture do The New York Times e do Discovery Communications. No início de sua carreira, Schiller foi chefe da CNN Productions, onde liderou os esforços de programação da companhia. Os documentários e séries produzidos sob seus auspícios receberam várias honras, incluindo três prêmios Peabody, quatro prêmios Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University e dezenas de Emmys.
  • CEO, Civil Media Foundation, USA

    Vivian Schiller is a media and technology executive with over 25 years of experience. Most recently as Global Chair of News at Twitter, in this role Schiller led the company’s strategy for news and partnership with journalism organizations and the news publishing ecosystem.

    Just prior to joining Twitter, Schiller served as Senior VP & Chief Digital Officer for NBC News where she had strategic and operational oversight of the networks‘ presence on the web, mobile, devices, and social media. Properties in her portfolio included,,,, and BreakingNews.

    Prior to NBC, Schiller served as President and CEO of NPR, leading all of NPR's worldwide media operations. She was Senior Vice President and General Manager of and Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Discovery Times Channel, a joint venture of The New York Times and Discovery Communications. Earlier in her career, Schiller was the head of CNN Productions, where she led CNN's long-form programming efforts. Documentaries and series produced under her auspices earned multiple honors, including three Peabody Awards, four Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, and dozens of Emmys.

  • Director Middle East, WAN-IFRA, Germany

    She is responsible for all activities in the Middle East countries, working closely with WAN-IFRA's members in the region. She is in charge of organising regional events and activities in the Middle East region.

  • Media Consultant, South Africa.

    Journalist * Researcher * Author * Consultant * Rapporteur * Media
    Trainer * Free Press Activist
    Johannesburg, South Africa

    Michael Schmidt is a field reporter with 26 years' experience and a reputation for producing unique and challenging copy, having worked for 19 years on some of South Africa's leading print titles including The Mercury and Sunday Times. He was involved as a senior journalist with the start-ups of ThisDay, of what is now Independent on Saturday, and of Ogojiii.

     He was group special investigative writer for Independent Newspapers' seven weekend titles before WAN-IFRA Training offer of 28.02.2017 page 3 of 5 going into journalism training. He expanded his work across Africa, and into parts of Central and South America, the Middle East, Europe and the Antipodes, and developed an intense interest in conflict reporting in transitional societies.

     In 2008, he gained his NQF4 trainer qualification and went into journalism training. He ran training workshops and oversaw projects – some with multi-million-rand budgets – for a wide range of continental and international media, academic, and philanthropic clients.

    Michael has worked across Africa, in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Australasia and has personally facilitated a wide variety of journalism courses.

  • Chefredakteur Gründerszene, Berlin

    Frank Schmiechen ist Chefredakteur von Gründerszene. Er begann seine journalistische Laufbahn als freier Sportreporter und Musikkritiker, arbeitete dann als Produktionschef und Chef vom Dienst bei Bild und leitete als stellvertretender Chefredakteur Welt Kompakt und die Welt am Sonntag.

  • Head of Business Development, Blendle

  • Publisher CORRECTIV

    David Schraven is head of the research center as publisher and content manager.
    After working for the “Tageszeitung” and the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, he was initially a freelance journalist for the “Welt” group in the business desk and in NRW desk. As a guest journalist in the “Time” magazine, David was in New York on September 11, when the towers collapsed. He was also one of the founders of the political blog “Ruhrbarone”. From 2010 to 2014, David was responsible for the “Research” department at the Content Desk of the Funke Media Group (WAZ / NRZ / WR / WP).
    For his research on the PFT toxin affair at the Ruhr, David received a watchdog award from the daily press. He was awarded the research prize of the Swiss Wolfgang Fichtner Foundation for his work on the social fraud of the former State Secretary, Zülfiye Kaykin from Duisburg. His graphic report on the Afghanistan operation of the German army “Kriegszeiten” was nominated for the German Youth Literary Prize. His graphic report on the legal terrorism “WEISSE WÖLFE” received the German Reporter Prize.
    Contact: david.schraven (at)

  • Director - Media Business, Aller Media

    Elina Schüller works as a Director of Media Business in Aller Media Finland. The company is a modern media-, marketing- and data company which publishes Finland´s biggest magazine Seiska, runs country´s biggest discussion forum Suomi24 and has been a pioneer in building and commercializing it´s data capability. Elina is focused on developing media products and modernizing ways of work in newsrooms.

    Elina has 20 years´ experience in news and magazine media. Prior to Aller Media she worked as a Managing Editor in Ilta-Sanomat, the biggest media in Finland. She has also worked for Iltalehti.

  • Chief Digital Officer, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany

    Before joining FAZ as their Head of Electronic Media, Thomas headed up the Online Business department at DD+V Media Group in Dresden - a group that includes the Sächsische Zeitung in Dresden, pioneers in introducing paid content to Germany.

    Educated at the Axel Springer School Of Journalism, Hamburg, previous roles include Editor, Sächsiche Zeitung am Sonntag and Managing Director, Dresdner Magazin Verlag.

  • Leiter Vermarktung Print und Digitale Medien, kicker sportmagazin

  • Managing Director, Handelsblatt Media Group

    After studying computer science, Gerrit Schumann founded the Cologne-based company element 5 in 1996 together with three partners. The start-up provided a platform to computer programs over the Internetto send. A market gap with potential, recognized in 2004 by the US group Digital River and bought the company. Schumann joined the board after the acquisition and expanded the European business. In 2007 he founded his second start-up with Music Networx. The company produced live recordings of concerts and distributed them digitally. Music Networxs went into the company Simfy in 2009 and brought the first advertising-financed music streaming service for the German-speaking countries on the market. In 2013, Schumann moved to the streaming provider and Spotify competitor Deezer. He was previously responsible there as Chief International Officer for the worldwide expansion of the operative business before becoming CDO of Handelsblatt in 2017.