First keynote speakers announced for ISOJ 2020: The Guardian’s editor-in-chief and The New York Times’ chairman


Both The Guardian and The New York Times have been celebrating important milestones of success in the last months, as global newspapers that have found success in the digital era. Their stories will help set the tone for the two days of the 21st ISOJ, the International Symposium on Online Journalism, at the University of Texas at Austin from April 24 to 25, 2020.

Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief of The Guardian, and Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., chairman of The New York Times Company, will be the opening keynote speakers on the first and second days of ISOJ, respectively.

ISOJ is a global conference that attracts journalists, media executives and scholars from around the world to the University of Texas at Austin. Last year, there were 450 participants from 43 countries. It’s a unique forum that has bridged the gap between the news industry and academia for 21 years.

Katharine Viner
Katharine Viner, Editor-in-chief, The Guardian

Katharine Viner has been editor-in-chief of The Guardian since 2015. She is behind the strategy that led the company to surprise the news industry around the world with a record number of voluntary financial contributions from readers. In May 2019, The Guardian said that in the last year it had a combined 955,000 regular monthly supporters (accounting for 68.5%) and one-off contributors (31.4%). That revenue, in addition to high online traffic and reduced costs, led the company to break even “for the first time in recent history.” 

At the time, Viner said, “In times of extraordinary political and economic upheaval the need for quality, independent reporting and commentary has never been greater. Guardian journalism is flourishing – holding the powerful to account and exploring new ideas.”

The Guardian Media Group confirmed in August 2019 that revenue reached £224.5m during the previous financial year, with digital comprising 56 percent of that total.

Viner was previously editor of the Guardian U.S., and as deputy editor of The Guardian, she launched the award-winning Guardian Australia in 2013. 

Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr.
Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., Chairman, The New York Times Company

Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. was the publisher of The New York Times for 25 years (1992-2017), launched nytimes.com in 1996 and led the transformation of the newspaper into a global news organization. In 2019, The New York Times Company passed $800 million of annual digital revenue, a goal it had planned to achieve by the end of 2020. It also added more than 1 million net digital subscriptions in the past year, and now counts more than 5 million total subscriptions.

Sulzberger’s career at the publication spans 41 years, including stints as metro reporter and editor, several years in the paper’s business departments and as deputy publisher.

Two additional speakers will join Viner and Sulzberger as keynotes for the 21st ISOJ. They will be announced shortly on isoj.org.

Registration for ISOJ is now open and information on accommodations, as well as things to see and do in Austin, can be found at isoj.org. The site also hosts a repository of video, presentations, programs and more from all previous symposia.