The annual Perugia International Journalism Festival is the leading journalism event in Italy. It is an open invitation to listen to and network with the best of world journalism. The leitmotiv is one of informality and accessibility, designed to appeal to journalists, aspiring journalists and those interested in the role of the media in society. Simultaneous translation into English and Italian is provided. The festival is open to the public free of charge.
The festival was founded in 2006 by Arianna Ciccone and Chris Potter. The objective? To set up an event which would break the mould – not another institutional forum or media industry get-together but rather an opportunity for you to engage with leading journalists from all over the world. Free. With content designed to appeal across the spectrum. The media plays such a fundamental role in our daily lives yet an event designed explicitly to bring together top-drawer media protagonists and the general public didn’t seem to exist. Literary festivals, science festivals, music festivals abounded. But where was the journalism festival? Nowhere. So we created it.
The 2007 first edition was a modest affair but by the 2012 sixth edition there were 217 different events in the 5–day programme, 524 speakers, 10 different venues, more than 1000 accredited journalists and more than 200 volunteers. Estimated total aggregate 2012 festival attendees were 50,000. The 2013 seventh edition will be the biggest and best yet.
So who decides what happens at the festival? Arianna and Chris. It’s just quicker that way. There is no festival organising committee, no board of luminaries to determine the programme, no cogitation over the ideal colour combination for the side-salad. We take topics of current interest in the media and fly the relevant kites. Other content is decided heuristically, shall we say. Any interesting panel/documentary/workshop/show proposed by festival friends or total strangers is pencilled in. We’re content merely to mix, match and generally facilitate.
Why Perugia? Because we live here. Perugia also happens to be a strikingly beautiful hilltop town of Etruscan origin. It is the regional capital of Umbria, one of the finest parts of Italy. The festival venues are all historic buildings located in the pedestrianised town centre. So how about a spring break in Perugia to enjoy great food, architecture, landscape and journalism? Where else can you tuck into your spaghetti al tartufo nero with Al Gore, Andy Carvin or Wadah Khanfar sitting at the adjoining table?
The festival program is full if different events such as keynote speeches, panel discussions, award ceremonies, workshops, and theatre shows. To see the updates of the programm content for 2014, please visit this page.
Location: Perugia, Italy