Amazon to be #ijf14 main sponsor

by Arianna Ciccone and Christopher Potter

The International Journalism Festival is proud to announce that Amazon will sponsor the 2014 festival.

This electrifying new partnership has few precedents and even fewer limits. The implications for the festival are profound.

Amazon will take an active part in the 2014 festival programme. The company wishes to add its voice to the ongoing debate on the new frontiers of journalism, in particular on the search for new business models which will allow high-quality journalism to flourish. And given the central role it attributes to the reader, Amazon is perhaps the ideal partner to support and spread the culture of participation and sharing on which the future of journalism is surely based.

For the online retail colossus, founded by Jeff Bezos in his Seattle garage in 1994, the customer is king. For the festival, founded by Arianna Ciccone and Christopher Potter in their Italian countryside home in 2006, the rise of the reader is perhaps the key feature in the current metamorphosis of journalism. There is clear potential synergy here, a shared vision providing a solid foundation for a shared future.

The partnership with Amazon will allow the festival to consolidate its position as the go-to media event in Europe. Where else can you mix and mingle gratis with so many of the best? Where else can you participate gratis in more than 200 sessions on all aspects of the media? Where else can you indulge in such a 5-day full-on moveable feast? In the stunning yet intimate setting of Perugia. And all with no registration, no ticket purchase, no paywall between the speaker and the attendee, between the writer and the reader. Where else? Nowhere else.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride over the past year or so. The seventh edition last April was by general agreement the best yet, in October we announced the closure of the festival due to lack of funds, in January the festival crowdfunding campaign reached its target of 100 thousand euros, and now in March Amazon and the festival step forward together into the limelight.

Today is a good day for the festival. Expectations will undoubtedly be raised even further. We hope to be up to the challenge.