Monaco Media Forum 2009

Last week Monaco played host to a select group of media moguls.

Industry leaders gathered at the beginning of November for two and a half days of networking and debate at the invitation-only Monaco Media Forum. Launched in 2006, the forum provides an opportunity for old and new players to build relationships and discuss challenges facing the industry. For this 4th edition of the event, 300 participants witnessed some heated debates, and were left in no doubt about the turmoil being experienced by the sector.

Monaco Media Forum 2009

But opinions were polarized on the direction that media enterprises should take. Most discussion revolved around the arguments for and against free content, and the debate reached its climax during a session which saw the old school and new school battle it out on stage.

For the old school, Mathias Dopfner of Axel Springer argued for paid content, claiming that people are always willing to pay for quality. In the new school corner, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post countered that consumers now expect to get online content free of charge and that the future lies in monetizing it through advertising and revenue sharing. Both however agreed that journalism had reached a crisis point.

So, with traditional media threatening to remove content from search engines, and new media claiming it makes no difference, the storm continues to rage.

If you missed the forum, catch up with the sessions on the Monaco Media Forum YouTube channel.