World newspaper congress scrapped in Beirut

11th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

A world congress of newspaper executives set to take place in Beirut next month was scrapped on Tuesday after the Lebanese newspaper hosting the event failed to come up with funding.

The An Nahar newspaper told the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) that it was still struggling with the aftermath of the 2009 economic crisis and would not be able to cover its share of the bill.

"It is with immense disappointment that we are forced to call off our events in Beirut, but it was simply impossible to go ahead without the commitment of our Lebanese colleagues, who were responsible for security and other significant infrastructure and service expenses," said Gavin O'Reilly, president of WAN-IFRA.

About 700 publishers, chief editors, managing directors and other senior newspaper executives had registered to attend the June 7 to 10 meeting.

The cost of the venue, security and other expenses was estimated at 1.6 million euros (two million dollars) and could not be covered by registration fees alone, according to WAN-IFRA.

The World Editors Forum, which was to meet in Beirut, has changed venue and will take place in Hamburg, Germany from October 6 to 8.

A world newspaper congress will be held in 2011.

Based in Paris, WAN-IFRA represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies worldwide.

© 2010 AFP

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