Scientist and journalist at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum from June 21-23 in Bonn
“In the face of what the science tells us is the likelihood of civilizational and population collapse within a relatively few generations if global heating is not averted, the world's media are in my blunt view and in their present form not fit for purpose in the 21st century,” says scientist and former journalist Mark Brayne. His assumption will most likely stir up controversy at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum. Brayne will be leading a workshop that looks at the role of the media and reporting on the psychology of climate change. This year’s conference, entitled “The Heat is On – Climate Change and the Media”, will take place from June 21-23 in Bonn. For Brayne, it comes down to the mindset. “Journalists are no different from businessmen or politicians in their/our inability to respond to the existential threat of climate change and resources depletion,” he said in an interview with Deutsche Welle. “Like all human beings, we respond in ways that are programmed by millions of years of evolution, identifying and meeting immediate needs and indulging immediate greeds, and failing to see these in the context of longer-term survival.” He went on to say that unless politicians, business leaders and voters really understand how desperately serious things are, there is no hope of that change. “And what is our most powerful tool for determining and changing what people think? The media,” said Brayne. “Paradoxically, by courageously facing and reporting what I believe to be the inevitability of collapse, we might yet avert it. Perhaps.“ Brayne became well-known for founding the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma in London. He was also director of the center until 2008. After 30 years of working as a reporter and correspondent for Reuters and the BBC – in which team he covered global events like the massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989 – he trained to become a psychological therapist. Brayne says that many correspondents in areas of conflict can’t forget what they have seen – and he wants to help them.
More than 50 individual events In 2010, the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum once again offers more than 50 events including podium discussions and workshops, interactive presentations and exhibitions, networking and interesting side events. It takes place at the World Conference Center Bonn, close to Deutsche Welle’s headquarters. Deutsche Welle is cooperating with many different organizations for this interdisciplinary conference, including the UNESCO, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the International Human Dimensions Program on Global Environmental Change (UN IHDP/ESSP), EU Commission and the World Bank, the Wuppertal Institute, World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), NABU and the Climate Alliance, the Institute for World Business Kiel, German Development Institute (DIE), the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and many others. Co-host of the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum is the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Sparkasse in Bonn. The convention is also supported by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, the Family, Women and Integration Ministry of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, European Funds for Regional Development, the city of Bonn, DHL, the KSB Group and Faber-Castell. June 2010