Bell, Ingram, Reed: the 2013 festival keynote speakers

by Vincenzo Marino – translated by Roberta Aiello

More and more 2013 seems to be the year of the definitive disruption of the media world. In the past few months we have described it on RoundUp, the week in review which keeps festival followers updated on the evolution of the media.

Starting from this transitional scenario – without speaking fully of a more complete ‘evolution’ – the International Journalism Festival will host this year three keynote speakers who are some of the most influential people in the field of communications and digital media. Emily Bell, Mathew Ingram and Harper Reed are, each in their own way, a symbol of this transition.

Emily Bell is one of the most respected voices in journalism worldwide. Winner of numerous awards, such as the British Press and the Webby Award – which she received in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 – as Director of Digital Content for Guardian News and Media, she is currently Professor of Professional Practice and Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School. At the end of 2012 she co-authored with C. W. Anderson and Clay Shirky Post-Industrial Journalism: Adapting To The Present, a highly influential and much-debated essay regarding the future of digital media that we have spoken largely about on these pages. It is a study that seeks to outline a framework for the current state of publishing and the future of journalism, starting from questions about economic sustainability and adaptation in an ecosystem such as the internet, which is still substantially unexplored. Bell will speak in Perugia on Saturday 27 April 2013.

Another key voice in the worldwide media landscape is Mathew Ingram, who is becoming more and more essential in the critical reading and discussion of the media. A Canadian journalist and blogger, Ingram is a constant presence in web debates about media. Always with an interesting and insightful point of view, he is one of the authors of the GigaOM websites – where he is a Senior Writer – and PaidContent, an international point of reference for online publishing and hi-tech. He has been oriented towards digital since he was Globe and Mail‘s Communities Editor, where he launched the first blog of the newspaper. He is also co-founder of Mesh, one of the most important North American conferences dedicated to the web. Ingram will speak in Perugia on Friday 26 April 2013.

Eccentric, brilliant and quite modest – as reflected in the tagline of his website “Probably one of the coolest guys ever” – the thirty-four year-old Harper Reed, a graduate in Computer Science and Philosophy, is the third keynote speaker. In a journalistic environment in which the term “guru of Obama” is often abused, Reed can be considered one of the most important and innovative members of the 2012 Obama for America campaign. As Chief Technology Officer of the campaign, Reed made his contribution to the Obama victory with a new and impressive work of data mining, which is the retrieval and analysis of data for electoral purposes, in an operation which developed a following in the entire industry. Reed will speak in Perugia on Saturday 27 April 2013.