Joerg Koch / AP

Jessica Lessin, founder of The Information, hosted a day-and-a-half long event called Off the Record for around 25 news leaders last week in Menlo Park, Axios has learned. A large part of the conversation centered around Facebook and the leverage that publishers have to negotiate with the platform.

Some of the attendees included:

  • Ben Smith, Editor-in-Chief, BuzzFeed
  • Kevin Delaney, Editor-in-Chief, Quartz
  • Carrie Budoff Brown, Editor, Politico
  • Isaac Lee, Chief Content Officer from Univision
  • Peter Kafka, Senior Editor, Re/code
  • Dan Primack, Axios
  • Noah Shachtman, Executive Editor, Daily Beast
  • Mitra Kalita, Vice President for Programming, CNN Digital
  • Lydia Polgreen, Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post
  • Amir Efrati, Senior Reporter, The Information
  • Amelia Lester, former Executive Online Editor, The New Yorker

The conversation also touched on ways to deal with the big tech platforms, what can be done to help local news, restoring trust in the media, can the popular "pivot to video" strategy really work, ad vs. subscription models, how to recruit and retain journalism talent, and the impact of consumer tech trends like VR on the news business. Lessin is planning to make this an annual event.

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