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Perugia’s Festival Internazionale del Giornalismo: “the Best Media Event in the World”

Date: April 12, 2019 - categories: - Leave your thoughts

Even Sandri’s pastry shop on Perugia’s main thoroughfare, Corso Vannucci, celebrated the early April Festival Internazionale del Giornalismo – with a white sugar sign (complete with festival hashtag) taking center stage in their display window (while the Easter cakes and almond paste serpenti  were set off to the side):

Over six-hundred journalists, photographers, professors, intellectuals, more than one hundred young volunteers, students and aspiring journalists from nineteen countries participated in three hundred events filling Perugia theaters, frescoed medieval guildhalls, an elegant hotel and  noble palazzi.

…and Franciscans were there, too:

After one talk, I chatted with a journalism student from northern Italy teaming with a French student  – both back again to the festival after working on past ones –  and they shared their enthusiasm about the Festival as an illumination on world events, a “training ground” for their hoped-for future profession:

Nearby just off a conference room, a group of journalism students from Grenoble, working with their professor on reports on the festival, also lauded the festival as one of the most important media events anywhere:

More than 600 speakers participated in 300 events (49% were women).  Impossible to name all the topics but to cite just a few: fake news and “disinformation,” affronting global climate change, artificial intelligence, freedom of press and human rights in war-zone countries, humanitarian crises of immigration, new technologies in the field of journalism, swing to the right in the governments of Hungary, Brazil and Austria.  

Not only:  two young Americans from the group March for Our Lives (survivors of the Parkland, Florida killings, February, 2018), Jaclyn Corin and David Hogg, spoke on the need to limit access to arms in their country – and in general.   (Click here for a video of their interview).

I missed their talk but did catch the one by Carl Voog (Whats App) on Whats App as a news and information source.


And with all the young people with hands upraised for question after his talk, I felt honored to be called on, too, for my question.

I told him so afterwards in the hotel bar where he was sharing drinks with a friend. He grinned – and posed graciously for a photo together:

I think Woog would have agreed with the words of Chris Potter, co-founder with Arianna Ciccone, who summed up  Perugia’s Festival Internazionale del Giornalismo in a final-day  interview as “the best media event in the world.”

Next year will be the fourteenth year.  More and bigger lecture spaces are sorely needed as many of the speakers drew long lines, wowing attendees at  sold-out venues

The founders are already on the search.  May they succeed: “the best media event in the world” must live on.

Click here to read about a wondrous past journalism festival

Read about the 2019 festival and see videos here

Read about why you cannot miss Perugia!

Read about a reason to get to Perugia in July!

Click here to read about another event “inspirational youth” in Perugia

Read about the journalism festival here

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