Future of Marine Journalism

With so many changes sweeping through the boating and publishing industries this past decade, BWI has assembled a roundtable of senior publishing executives to discuss what the future holds in store for the boating media and for journalists – working both on and offline – during the Miami International Boat Show.

BWI will present, “The Future of Marine Journalism,” during its bi-annual meeting beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 18, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, room A 204-205. Featured speakers include John Burnham, Editorial Director at YachtWorld.com/boats.com, Tim Cole, Executive V.P. at Belvoir Media Group, Duncan McIntosh, Group Publisher of Editor and Publisher as well as a number of boating titles, David Ritchie, Editorial Director at Bonnier Marine Group and Bill Sisson, Editor-in-Chief, Soundings Publications.

The panel will explore changes that have been wrought by the Great Recession, the shift away from print and developments they expect to see at their publications over the next 18 months, including their expectations on hiring freelance and full-time staff writers in the foreseeable future. In just the past few years, the percentage of BWI members now calling themselves “freelance” has mushroomed from 42% in 2005 to 65% in 2009.

How journalists can best respond to the changing needs of the boating industry in an era of social networking will be on the agenda. Other issues sure to be discussed include the viability of online publications and whether these outlets require skill sets different from those of the traditional writer.

“It’s time for a frank discussion of the future of marine journalism and I suspect our program will produce an exciting dialogue that will actively engage our audience,” said BWI Director Michael Sciulla, chairman of the committee producing the forum.