Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Monday, June 13, 2016
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to warmly welcome all of you who have gathered here in Bonn for the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum.
It's exciting to see so many people who have come to Germany from more than 100 countries in order to exchange ideas and meet in order to expand their knowledge.
The forum today is being held in a building that was once the plenary hall of the German Parliament, designed by its architect to provide an atmosphere of openness and transparency. You, dear guests and participants, are now sitting where once the democratically elected officials of the parliament met; you are here to shape your own opinions and to unabashedly advocate for them. There are many exciting discussions to partake in over the next three days. As the subject of this year's conference, “Media. Freedom. Values.” invites an intensive discourse, professional disagreements may also arise.
With the increasing abundance of information available online, we, as a global community, need to hold a debate about those values and orientations that dictate our ways of thinking, speaking and how we go about dealing with each other. Such an inspiring culture of debate reflects the spirit of Deutsche Welle.
Never before have we had so many possibilities for acquiring information as we have today. But we see at the same time the increasing possibilities for manipulation and disinformation – and that this is being used scrupulously by some.
For this reason it is so necessary to enshrine the media whose hallmark is one of reliable journalism, one which you can continue to trust. One which is incorruptible, which continues to remain fact-based. A medium whose reporting is serious.
Deutsche Welle, the host of this large international conference is in the midst of all of the crises and conflicts occurring today and has remained a reliable medium that enjoys trust the world over. For that, I thank all of its employees and wish them all the best in their work.
To all of those attending the Global Media Forum, I wish you an exciting and educational three days filled with interesting encounters.
The spoken word is binding.