Interview - Larry Kilman

Interview: Larry Kilman, Director of Communications, World Association of Newspapers : 19th August 2003

Media Man Australia interviews Larry Kilman, of the World Association of Newspapers.

Larry discusses his background, the aims and objectives of the WAN, and the future of the newspaper business, that appears to actually be the future of the news business, as new and exciting technologies emerge.

What's your background and that of WAN?

Founded in 1948, the World Association of Newspapers defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. As the global association of the newspaper industry, it represents 18,000 newspapers; its membership includes 72 national newspaper associations, individual newspaper executives in 100
countries, 13 news agencies and nine regional and world-wide press groups.

Larry Kilman is the Director of Communications of WAN. Prior to joining the association in 1998, he had a 20-year career as a journalist, on three continents, mostly for the news agencies Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.

What are your aims and objectives?

The World Association of Newspapers has three major objectives:

€ Defending and promoting press freedom and the economic independence of
newspapers as an essential condition for that freedom.

€ Contributing to the development of newspaper publishing by fostering
communications and contacts between newspaper executives from different
regions and cultures.

€ Promoting co-operation between its member organisations, whether
national, regional or worldwide.

In pursuit of these objectives, the World Association of Newspapers notably:

€ represents the newspaper industry in all international discussions on
media issues, to defend both press freedom and the professional and business
interests of the press.

€ promotes a world-wide exchange of information and ideas on producing
better and more profitable newspapers;

€ opposes restrictions of all kinds on the free flow of information, on
the circulation of newspapers and on advertising;

€ campaigns vigorously against press freedom violations and obstacles;

€ helps newspapers in developing countries, through training and other
co-operation projects;

€ channels legal, material and humanitarian aid to victimized publishers
and journalists;

How many people attend your conferences?

Between 200 and 1,200. The big one is the annual World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum, which brings more than 1,000 publishers, chief editors and other senior newspaper executives together for the annual meetings of the world's press.

Are traditional newspapers threatened by online newspapers, let alone bloggers?

Not at all. In fact, traditional newspapers are among the best providers of news on the internet. What was first seen as a threat has become an opportunity as newspapers come to understand that their core product isn't paper, but news. Distributing the news on all available channels appears to
be a way forward for the industry.

Describe freedom of the press in France?

France has a free press.

Have you ever looked into the Australian market?

Yes, of course - our annual World Press trends, the only annual publication on the global newspaper industry, always includes a chapter on Australia.

The information includes figures on circulation, advertising revenues, number of titles, distribution issues, top ten lists of dailies, advertising
categories, publishing companies and advertisers, internet publishing, media consumption, basic demographic information and more.

The book can be purchased from WAN at


Editors note:

We wish the WAN future success. It sounds like the newspaper industry, or should that be, the news industry, has some exciting times in store. Don't forget to attend their conference.

Check our press releases section for more information on WAN.


World Association of Newspapers

WAN: The 2003 World Forum on Newspapers