The Global Media Forum 2015 welcomed big names in media, politics, business and culture. Here are highlights from some of the opening and closing ceremony speeches.
Foreign policy must not be tempted to respond with supposedly quick and simple solutions. We must continue to seek diplomatic initiatives patiently and resolutely, regardless of how much time and effort this takes. That doesn't mean that social media channels don't also offer diplomats fantastic new opportunities, too, such as a means for politicians, citizens and experts to exchange views.
Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Germany
The values that we consider constituent for our democracy in the analog world must be preserved and defended in the online realm as well. That is why media quality and diversity are indispensable, especially in the digital age. And fortunately there are media entrepreneurs, broadcasting directors, publishers and journalists, who for this very reason seek with all their might for ways to preserve quality and variety in journalism and to defend freedom of the press and freedom of opinion in the world.
Professor Monika Grütters, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Germany
I have mentioned media innovation, the modernization of regulation, and media freedom and pluralism, as some of the key issues that the converging media environment is confronted with. In all of these areas there is work ahead for every one of us: media investors, NGOs, national authorities, European institutions, and citizens. I believe that that dialogue and coordinated actions, at all levels, can be effective to reinforce Europe's free and innovative media sector.
Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, European Commission, Belgium
Whoever the broadcaster, one thing is clear: The precondition for any successful new programs is quality. Only those who enjoy their users’ trust can continue to survive in the digital age. At times like these, when freedom of opinion is restricted and threatened in many countries and regions of the world, the diversity, responsibility and credibility of the media are all the more important.
Professor Dr. Maria Böhmer, Minister of State, Federal Foreign Office, Germany
Governments play an (…) important role for today's highly diverse and converging media environment, which is channeling information in a globalized world and ever shorter news cycle. There is a need for democratic, inclusive, transparent and proportionate regulation to properly utilize the opportunities provided by the Internet. We must make sure that there is diversity and transparency.
Dr. Marc Jan Eumann State Secretary for Federal Affairs, Europe and Media of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Seldom has Saudi Arabia's schizophrenia been so obvious as it was (…) when Raif Badawi received the first 50 lashes for the propagation of liberal thought on the Internet. Two days before his lashing, Islamist terrorists had murdered several journalists from Charlie Hebdo because of their propagation of liberal caricatures. Two days after his lashing, members of the Saudi government participated in a demonstration on the streets of Paris - a demonstration in support of the freedom of speech.
Jochen Wegner, Editor-in-Chief, ZEIT ONLINE, Germany
The courage to see beyond personal gain, it's part of the new set of skills that enable businesses to join the shift in leadership that is beginning to take place globally. If the mantra of the 20th century was 'what can I get?' the mantra of this century may well turn out to be 'what can I give?'
Dr. Scilla Elworthy, Founder Oxford Research Group, Founder Peace Direct, Founder Rising Women Rising World, Councillor World Future Council, United Kingdom
Just how indispensable quality media are in the context of foreign policy and diplomacy has been echoed throughout many of the workshops. It is the anchor or rather the navigational markers guiding us through a sea of useless, questionable information. There was also consensus on the fact that quality media is built on the foundation of a strong internal compass - taking a clear stance. By simply going with the flow of the mainstream, you run the risk of losing relevance.
Peter Limbourg, Director General, Deutsche Welle