Although this year marks the 25th anniversary of PANAMUN, it only marks the 17th anniversary of a very important component of the conference: Echo Press. Echo Press was started in 2000 by Mary Stein, who was brought to the ISP in 2000, along with her husband, to help the PANAMUN conference improve and expand. Since then, Echo Press has been an essential part of PANAMUN, documenting important components of the conference every year.
Mary Stein has been responsible for the creation of several MUN papers around the world. In fact, she even “took over the Press for The Hague early on and renamed it MUNITY,” which is what it’s still known as. Stein described how “it was really wonderful to watch [the] kids because [she] had the IB class and was aware of who was a good writer and who was conscientious and who [she] could trust to meet deadlines, [so she] had a real rich field from which to choose delegates for the Press.” This allowed for a great team of journalists to successfully kick off the first year of PANAMUN.
The following year, photographers were added to the team to further enrich the quality of the paper. Through the addition of photographers, Echo Press was able to better portray what the conference was like and emphasize important aspects.
Later on, in 2002, the team was expanded so that it consisted of journalists, photographers, artists, and experienced layout/Internet teams. On Echo Press’ Volume 1, Issue 2, they included work from two cartoonists, one of which was Jair Guevara, who is the current Manager of Marketing and Communications at ISP. Mrs. Stein expressed how she believes that finding somebody “who can not only draw but has that dry sense of humor and convey political cartoons can be very powerful.” She also explained how cartoons break “the layout of the page and makes it much more interesting,” since it makes the newspaper much more diverse. In addition to this creation of different teams, Echo Press also welcomed a member from a visiting school for the first time. Through this addition, they hoped there would be more expertise and unique points of view within the articles. This was done throughout different years, yet it is not something that is done in the current years.
On 2003, Echo Press underwent yet another very important change. This was the first year in which the newspaper was published online, making the articles, photographs, and other components more accessible. Publishing it online meant anyone could get access to it, which essentially helped increase the amount of people who read the newspaper as people from other countries, as well as those who weren’t participating in the conference were able to get their hands on it. This was also very important since it helped reduce the amount of paper used during the conference. Nowadays, most of the newspaper content is found online and only few parts are printed for the delegates. Finally, thanks to this, Echo Press has been able to publish content both before and after the conference that is easily accessed through the PANAMUN website.
In addition to the old motto, “Opening the Locks to a Better World,” the conference also had another one, “Our Voices Resounding,” which Mrs. Stein expressed was very important to the Echo Press team. She believed that the paper was “another chance for the students’ voices to be heard more worldwide” and for ideas to be communicated. She believes that this is very important for Echo Press and hopes that, in the future, different MUN presses will come together to form a “MUN worldwide press association” where students can be awarded each year for the best article, photograph, and cartoon, and so that their work and ideas can get more recognition.
For years, Echo Press has played a key role in the conference and has grown and flourished in several ways. Thanks to Echo Press, several different key moments in the history of PANAMUN have been documented, one of which will be this 25th anniversary. Not only would important conference memories be lost without Echo Press, but PANAMUN’s recognition around the world would be greatly diminished, as there would be no way for these people to understand what the conference is like.