Foreign policy in the digital age is the focus of the Global Media Forum from June 22-24, 2015, in Bonn. DW will launch its new English TV channel at the conference featuring high-profile guests from around the world.
Advances in digital information and communication technologies are transforming foreign policy and international diplomacy. Universal interconnectedness requires new ways of thinking. The reframing of foreign policy affects diplomacy and many key segments related to it, from human rights, security and governance through to commerce and various facets of development cooperation.
More than 2,000 international guests from the fields of politics, diplomacy, media and social activism are expected to attend this year's Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, which takes place from June 22-24 at the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany. This 8th edition of the annual conference series will examine the opportunities and risks posed by "Media and Foreign Policy in the Digital Age."
Official launch of DW's new English TV channel
The media conference is an ideal stage to launch DW's new 24-hour TV channel in English. Germany's Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Monika Grütters, will join DW Director General Peter Limbourg for the ceremonial launch on Monday, June 22. The news and information channel featuring hourly updates, magazine programs and documentaries will be broadcast around the world. Germany's international broadcaster will also extend its other TV programming in German, Spanish and Arabic.
Many guests and high-profile speakers will be on hand to witness the official launch at the World Conference Center in Bonn. Among those taking part in the Global Media Forum's three days of workshops and panel discussions are Vitali Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv; Richard Porter, Editorial and Digital Director of BBC Global News; Prof. Artur Nowak-Far, Under Secretary of State in Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Günter Oettinger, the EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society; and Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.
Also attending in Bonn will be Egyptian journalist Reem Maged, whose socially critical weekly TV program "Women at a Turning Point", a coproduction by DW and its partner broadcaster ONTV in Cairo, was recently taken off the air by Egyptian security officials. Antonia Rados, the Chief Correspondent for Foreign Affairs at Germany's RTL Television, also brings years of experience and expertise to the talks lined up in the conference program.
Rethinking coverage of crises and conflicts
On the first day, the "Media Summit" will examine the changes taking place in international media coverage of crises and conflicts. Among other aspects, the panelists will discuss whether journalists working in an ever faster media world run the risk of neglecting in-depth analysis of current events and favoring a friend-versus-foe mindset. EU Commissioner Günter Oettinger will give a keynote speech.
The digital revolution has had massive impact on modern diplomacy. "Foreign policy in 140 characters: How technology is redefining diplomacy" will be the focus of debate between prominent experts in the panel discussion on Tuesday. Where foreign policy decisions were once the result of secret negotiations, new players have now entered the diplomatic stage. An increasingly uncontrollable flow of information and a directional shift in communications have changed social structures.
Another central debate will take place on Wednesday, spotlighting the dangers surrounding conflicts over natural resources, one of today's greatest risks to security. Such clashes often arise in places where abundant resources promise to generate income – paradoxically, in countries that have huge deposits of oil, gas and precious metals. Repeatedly they lead to population displacement and migration caused by hunger, ethnic or religious strife, human rights violations and environmental destruction.
On the last day of the conference, Scilla Elworthy will address her main issues of study – the equal importance of politics, military interests and civil society for sustainable global security strategy. As founder of the renowned Oxford Research Group, Elworthy has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times.
The 2015 Bobs Awards ceremony
The main winners of this year's annual DW international competition, The BOBs – Best of Online Activism, will be honored on Tuesday, June 23. In addition to the three jury-selected prizes, the Deutsche Welle Freedom of Speech Award will be conferred for the first time. DW Director General Peter Limbourg will present the award for imprisoned Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi. Deutsche Welle will broadcast the ceremony to its global audience.
International partners and co-hosts
DW's partners for the approximately 40 workshops and events being held at the 2015 Global Media Forum include, among others, Amnesty International, Grimme-Institut, the United Nations, the OSCE, Reporters Without Borders Germany and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The conference is co-hosted by the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn. Support is also kindly provided by Germany's Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the City of Bonn and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
June 8, 2015
Conference program: http://issuu.com/deutsche-welle/docs/global-media-forum-15-program
Conference website: www.dw.com/gmf