What the rest of the world thinks

Updated March 11, 2020: I had hoped to attend the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy, from April 1-5, but with the dangerous spread of COVID-19 worldwide, the conference was canceled. Next year is a possibility; let’s all keep our fingers crossed.

Although the conference is in its 14th year, last year was the first time I attended — and I was totally blown away. Imagine: 289 sessions, 14 venues, 631 speakers from news outlets and organizations around the world. The city of Perugia was abuzz with journalists up and down the lively Corso Vannucci in the historic center, walking from one session to another.

What is so special about this event is the opportunity to hear how the rest of the world thinks about global issues and how journalists cover those important topics. Sessions were eye-opening, whether discussing immigration or cyber-security, organized crime or freedom of the press.

About 40 percent of the presentations are in English and the rest in Italian. Organizations that spoke in 2019 included the BBC, Conde Nast, Columbia University, Aspen Institute, The Financial Times, New York Times, BuzzFeed and more.