NetMedia 2003 Conference

“Leading figures from the world’s online journalism community gathered in Barcelona this week for the ninth annual NetMedia conference on digital journalism,” reported about last week’s NetMedia 2003 Conference in Barcelona.

Around 200 journalists, students and publishing professionals from across Europe and the U.S. met at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra on July 3rd for the one-day conference. Its them this year was Making Online Digital Media Pay Its Way.

Marilo Ruiz de Elvira of El Pais; Mary Mangan, formerly of; Tracy Corrigan of; Peter Vandermeersch of De Standaard of Brussels; Gumersindo Lafuente of El Mundo; and Eduard Ramos of Lavanguardia Digital, spoke about their online newspapers’ conversion from free-access to partial or totally paid-access content business models. Which model works better? See our ClickZ column this month for our opinion.

Steve Yelvington, vice president of strategy and content for Morris DigitalWorks, and Neil Budde, founder and former publisher of the Wall Street Journal Online, gave presentations about how to increase the numbers of users or subscribers to online newspaper sites.

Then, according to, “Digital media veteran Vin Crosbie delivered a lively presentation on understanding the economics of the web, sparking some debate with his controversial statements on the problems of generating revenue online.” This was basically a sequal to my NetMedia 2001 speech about why periodical will fail to profit on the Web.

“Comparing the economics of web advertising with that of broadcast and print, Mr Crosbie also suggested that web advertising causes a problem for publishers. A print publication has a finite pagination, so as circulation increases the advertising space becomes more valuable and the publisher is able to increase advertising rates. A similar situation exists for broadcasters. But on the web, traffic increases do not increase the value of advertising space. In fact, because online space is sold on a per-view rate basis, the publisher actually has to sell more space, putting pressure on them to decrease their advertising rates,” reported

Dan Gillmor gave a presentation about how new technologies are letting consumers themselves publish news online as easily as traditional publishers can. And Luis Angel Fern