Discours d’ouverture de la conférence académique ‘La mode come modèle. Mode et éthique’ par Wolfgang Blau, Sorbonne Université, Faculté des Lettres, Grande Ecole de Journalisme du CELSA. Paris, April 15th 2021 (English version)

Bonjour. Merci, Professeur Perrier, pour l’introduction et de m’avoir invité à être ici avec vous aujourd’hui.

Comme Valérie l’a mentionné, j’ai travaillé dans le journalisme et les médias depuis l’université, en commençant par présenter les infos à la radio publique allemande ARD lorsque j’avais une vingtaine d’années.

Les carrières intéressantes comportent souvent de grands changements en cours de route. De toutes les transitions que j’ai connues jusqu’à…

Opening keynote by Wolfgang Blau for the academic conference ‘La mode come modèle. Mode et éthique’ by Sorbonne Université, Paris, Faculté des Lettres, Grande École de Journalisme du CELSA. April 15th 2021 (version française)

Good morning. Thank you, Professor Perrier, for the introduction and for the invitation to be here with you today.

As Valerie mentioned, I have worked in journalism and media since I was a university student, starting as a radio news presenter for Germany’s national broadcaster ARD when I was in my early twenties.

Interesting careers often contain some big transitions along the way. Of all the…

This is the summary of a conversation about Europe’s journalistic vulnerability which started with this tweet: “Macron sees a need to write an open letter to the Financial Times, challenging an earlier opinion piece in the FT. He also could have responded via a continental European English-language newspaper of similar global influence — if only there were one“

This tweet was met with a question (in a private capacity) by Steven Everts, Senior Advisor on Strategy and Communications at the European Union’s Foreign Security and Policy Service, i.e. the EU’s Diplomatic Service:

My reply, edited for style:


‘Selfies’, early 18th century. (Kenwood House, London, wblau)

Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to downgrade publishers in Facebook’s newsfeed seems like a knee-jerk reaction, a brash response to the negative reputation the company has acquired since Trump’s election.

What else has motivated him? There are reports about declining user engagement and an overall shift towards “private social” i.e. chat apps, especially amongst younger users. But there is more to this profound change in strategy. Call it Facebook‘s “China problem”.

News journalism has become a strategic burden for Facebook in its critical need to be a truly global player, which it isn’t. Not as long as they are not in China…

(posted with kind permission by South Korea’s daily newspaper ‘The JoongAng Ilbo’)

“South Korea’s nationwide daily newspaper ‘The JoongAng Ilbo’ sat down with Wolfgang Blau, The Guardian’s digital strategy director, in late June to discuss the newspaper’s successes and the challenges ahead.

Mobile journalism, he said, could “bring about the best writers journalism has ever seen,” with readers’ attention now more coveted than ever before.


The JoongAng Ilbo: The Guardian is a global success story.

Blau: Yes, we have the advantage of publishing in English, which means we can expand internationally with greater ease. From there on, though, it…

A few days ago, I wrote about the ever same questions some European media journalists keep asking me.

Lina Timm, a German journalist, saw my post and responded here on Medium: “Dear @wblau, I got some new questions for you”.

Thank you, Lina. Here are my answers. I have marked your questions in bold.

While I don’t always agree with some of their underlying assumptions, all of your questions seem to assume that journalism has a strong digital future and you focus on solutions rather than on doom, which…

I had (the privilege) to give a couple of interviews to media journalists these last days in Europe and keep wondering: why are eight out of ten questions about the future of journalism predictably negative and why do they seem to keep asking the same questions over the last seven to eight years?

Here is the usual set of questions posed by so many European media journalists:

“Citizen journalists pose a threat to media organizations”
I have never met anyone who called themselves a ‘citizen journalist’. Have you? Variant from last week: “Periscope is a threat to news organizations, how can…

Wolfgang Blau

Affiliations: Visiting Research Fellow, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University. / Trustee Director, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, UK.

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