New global network links top editors

byDana Liebelson
Mar 30, 2011 in Journalism Basics

An new international network hopes to empower editors-in-chief and news executives to embrace the digital revolution.

The Global Editors Network (GEN) was created to give senior editors the tools to address the challenges of digital news.

It brings together editors, developers and engineers to share ideas and technology for sustainable journalism. The organization also aims to expand editors associations beyond the Anglo-Saxon world and bridge emerging and developed countries.

“National associations for editors are an asset for democracy,” Bertrand Pecquerie, the CEO of GEN, told IJNet. “We plan to offer editors from emerging countries free services.”

GEN also has a department to provide legal and management support to countries interested in creating their own networks. The network already has plans to launch an editor's association in Egypt and anticipates spending nine months on the project.

For members, GEN has plenty of other big things in the works: it plans to offer an Editors’ Institute, for training and certification and an Editors’ Marketplace. It will also launch a new website in April and host a summit in November with 500 top editors.

Presently, membership cost is USD$265 annually. However, the fee is currently waived for applicants who provide email addresses of four colleagues.

In the last two weeks, almost 1,000 editors and senior news executives have provided input. International members include Xavier Vidal-Folch, Deputy Director of El Pais, currently the board president, and media executives from BBC News, The New York Times and the European Journalism Centre.

“The idea is very basic, but nobody has done it before,” Pecquerie, former director of the World Editors Forum from which GEN is a spin-off, said. “We hope that engineers and developers will bring fresh air to a journalistic community that is not always familiar with the technology. It’s impossible to invent alone.”