At the start of the 8th Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum on 22 June, Minister of State Maria Böhmer welcomed the media conference guests. The participants have gathered at the World Conference Center in Bonn until 24 June and will focus on the subject of “Media and Foreign Policy in the Digital Age”.
First and foremost Böhmer thanked the Director General of Deutsche Welle, Peter Limbourg, for his organisation’s engagement in Ukraine. Böhmer declared that Deutsche Welle had increased its engagement in Ukraine to promote diversity of opinion and balanced reporting. She added that Deutsche Welle was not only providing advice to the newly established public radio service, but was also strengthening the independent media in Ukraine. She cited the example of DW Akademie, which is supporting the creation of an e-school for journalists and media managers.
Social media gives a voice to civil society
In an attempt to describe the impact of increasing digitisation on the media and on foreign policy, Böhmer called to mind the role of social media in helping to spark and accelerate the Arab Spring. They were a crucial factor in giving a voice to civil society in countries with state‑controlled media, a voice which was heard throughout the world. Civil societies use social media to step into the public eye and call for a fundamental democratic principle: the right to freedom of opinion and of the press.
Böhmer went on to say that in view of global crises, armed conflict and acts of terrorism, the responsibility of the media in reporting had increased, especially in the area of news broadcasting. She said that one thing was clear, irrespective of the channel: “The prerequisite for successful news programmes is quality. Only those who win consumers’ trust will be able to survive in the digital age. Media diversity, responsibility and credibility are increasingly important in times like this, when freedom of opinion is restricted and threatened in many countries and regions of the world.”