IAPA’s annual conference focuses on new media paradigm, including impact of AI

Representatives of major media organizations in the Americas will convene in Miami, Florida this July to talk about digital transformations of media, and most notably, those caused by artificial intelligence (AI).

Four people sitting on stage

Panel from SIPConnect2023, the IAPA's annual conference for media in the Americas. (Courtesy)

SIPConnect 2024 takes place in Miami, Florida from July 17 to 19, 2024 and brings together news leaders, innovators and editors from the Americas to discuss advances, trends and perspectives of the industry. Registration is now open for this annual conference hosted by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA).

Keynote speakers include Daniel Coronell, president of Univision Noticias of Televisa; Alex Mena, executive editor of The Miami Herald; and Michael Greenspon, licensing and print innovation at The New York Times.

Other sessions – including roundtable discussions and interactive workshops – focus on topics such as disinformation, influencers, newsletters, media creation, monetization strategies, audio and video production to reach new audiences, social media, social video and storytelling.

One of the topics appearing more frequently in this year’s program is AI.

“Overall, the trend [of AI use in the Americas] shows a growing interest and investment in AI, with many newsrooms exploring innovative applications to stay competitive and improve their reporting capabilities. Media companies are also assessing risks that may come with artificial intelligence, and directors and editors are becoming much more aware of those risks,” Carlos Lauría, executive director of the IAPA, told LatAm Journalism Review (LJR).

Lauría said the pace and extent of adoption varies in newsrooms of the region.

“Larger media organizations are often at the forefront, utilizing AI for tasks such as automating news production, personalizing content, enhancing audience engagement, and improving operational efficiency. However, smaller newsrooms may lag due to resource constraints,” he said.

Sessions at IAPA will look at risks and possibilities of using AI in the newsroom, including how it’s “changing the rules of the game.”

Lauría said that to plan the program for SIPConnect, the association looked to current trends and challenges in the industry, feedback from previous events and consultations within the IAPA and with media professionals and experts.

“IAPA conducts surveys and discussions with its members to identify the most pressing issues and areas where media organizations need support,” Lauría said. “This collaborative approach ensures that the sessions are relevant, timely and beneficial for participants.”

A room full of people watching a speaker and two screens

Editors and media managers from 20 countries attended SIPConnect 2023. (Courtesy)

At the conference, Lauría said there will be space for networking and checking out products, services and innovations from companies and startups in digital media. The last day of the conference is reserved for visiting media companies in Miami, he added.

Sessions are mainly in Spanish, but there are a few sessions in English. There will be simultaneous interpretation to Spanish for English sessions, and vice versa. The conference is primarily in-person, but a few sessions will be available via streaming and all presentations will be posted the following day to the IAPA’s YouTube Channel, Lauría said.

The executive director said SIPConnect is just one way that the IAPA has kept up with the digital transformation of media from the Americas. The association also holds training sessions and webinars on topics like digital journalism, multimedia storytelling and integrating new technologies in newsrooms, and Lauría said it collaborates with tech companies and digital media experts to bring insights and tools to members of the association.

“The Inter American Press Association has actively embraced digital transformation by constantly updating its programs and initiatives to address the evolving needs of media organizations amid technological changes, the deterioration of press freedom, and the sustainability crisis worsened by the pandemic,” Lauría said.

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