OXFORD ENGLAND — The last leaves were falling and the world was plunging into an economic crisis as journalists from around the world gathered for a meeting in England. The venue, though, was not a conference room in the financial hub of the City of London, but the ancient university city of Oxford, some 80 km to the west.

What brought 100 journalists together was not a wake for capitalism, but a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Thomson Reuters Foundation Fellowship at the University of Oxford — allied to a convention whose principal topic was the challenges facing journalism, and especially newspapers, at this time of rapid technological change.

Many of the participants — mostly former fellows — had left behind hectic newsrooms all over the world. But that was a big part of what the fellowship had offered them, too: A chance for working journalists to take a break from unrelenting daily deadlines, spend time thinking about wider issues surrounding journalism and exchange views with international counterparts.