11 September 2013

Denver 2013


Dear members and friends of the IAPA, Denver, Colorado, a young and vibrant city in the center of the "Old West" is the site of the next IAPA General Assembly that is already taking form as another milestone in the history of the organization.

The IAPA heads for the 'Old West' General Assembly in Denver, Colorado, October 18-22, 2013

Dear members and friends of the IAPA,

Denver is awaiting the IAPA’s upcoming General Assembly with a program to discuss and analyze crucial issues that the press is facing today. The list of prominent individuals that have confirmed their attendance includes former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo; U.S. Senator Michael Bennett; Associated Press President Gary Pruitt; Colorado Governor John W. Hickenlooper, and Professor Ethan A. Nadelmann, who discussed the issue of drugs during the 1988 IAPA General Assembly held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The General Assembly is scheduled for October 18-22 and will be held at the Denver historic Brown Palace Hotel.

The program, already in its final stages of being completed, will have as main activities four panel discussions addressing the legalization of marijuana in the United States, the complex issue of immigration, the future of journalism and press freedom from an educational point of view, and the latent topic of United States and Latin American relations and the state of the Inter-American System.

To the above mentioned topics, we will also discuss issues that have had the most impact in the area of press freedom. Sunday will be devoted to reviewing press freedom issues, featuring U.S. government spying techniques and their impact on freedom of the press, Ecuador’s gag law, and the critical situations in Argentina, Venezuela and the ALBA countries in general, along with the threats of violence and crimes against journalists that are commonplace in so many nations, especially in Honduras, Brazil and Mexico.

In addition to confirmed participants, the list of prominent invited individuals includes President Barack Obama, Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos, Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio, former New Mexico Governor and former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Columbia University President Lee Bollinger.

Attached are the hotel reservation and registration forms. The special hotel reservations rate for participants has an absolute deadline of September 16.

The Host Committee, chaired by Edward Seaton, Seaton Newspapers, has been working untiringly to have everything ready. In addition to Seaton, the Host Committee is comprised by Elizabeth Ballantine, The Durango Herald, Durango, Colorado; Scott Schurz, Herald Times, Bloomington, Indiana; and, William Dean Singleton, The Denver Post, Denver, Colorado.

Seminars and panel discussions

Beginning on Friday, October 18, the program includes a series of seminars that will focus on technology and new tools to make the print media more effective and productive. One of the seminars will review the use of new video channels in the news media as a strategy for audience growth; another will present alternative models for the growth of news companies, including practical examples of practices developed in Latin American countries, with a view to maintaining a healthy press.

A third seminar will address the use of adaptive Web design versus tablets and the manner in which information will be disseminated in the future, while a fourth seminar will be focused on the use of Big Data in the news media. Big Data refers to those systems that manipulate large amounts of data and whose intelligent use enables not only to better understand audiences, but also to predict their behavior and interests.

A fifth seminar will focus on research findings around the latest trends of the press and ways to survive in the U.S. The big questions to be examined are whether there is light at the end of the tunnel and whether the press in the U.S. is healthy, sick or agonizing. Contact has been made with the Project for Excellence in Journalism of the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. to lead this panel.

The social side and the excursions

There will be a full program of social activities and receptions, as well as cultural visits to the best that the American Midwest has to offer. Scheduled for the start of the General Assembly is a session to discuss the influence and contributions of Hispanics to politics and culture in the United States. A visit to Cherry Creek Mall, a site of luxury stores and art galleries, is scheduled on Saturday for companions/spouses. On the evening of that same day, the welcoming reception will take place at The Denver Post, located opposite the Capitol, the Central Civic Park and the City Council Building.

On Sunday afternoon we will go to the award-winning The Fort, located in the Denver suburbs, one of the most recognized establishments in the nation and famous for its buffalo steaks.

A morning visit to Foot Hills Fandango is planned for Monday. Situated amid cliffs, Foot Hills Fandango is one of the most photographed and scenic places in Colorado. In the afternoon, we have planned a stroll through downtown Denver, including a review of the history of the Colorado Center that houses art museums. On Monday evening, there will be the traditional Awards presentation ceremony at the Denver Art Museum, which houses one of the world’s most important collections of Native American art.

Sunny Day in Denver.

Hotel and important details

The venue will be the renowned Brown Palace Hotel, connected to the Comfort Inn hotel by a bridge. Both are five-star hotels, have exquisite amenities and are located in downtown Denver, a city at the foot of the majestic Rocky Mountains that boasts 300 sunny days a year. Sixteenth Street, a mile-long pedestrian walkway that has open-air cafés and shops, is located just four blocks from the hotel.

Assembly participants should fly to Denver International Airport, which has excellent flight connections. The airport is the world’s fifth busiest, with more than 1,600 flights a day to 150 destinations around the world.

Send in your registration today and heed your Association’s call. Your presence is essential for the IAPA to continue traversing the path of the defense of press freedom in the Western Hemisphere.

We’ll see you in Denver. I would be delighted to provide any additional details you might need regarding your travel plans. Regards,

Ricardo Trotti Executive Director