The Global Media Forum concluded with an appeal by DW Director General Peter Limbourg, who encouraged media leaders "to take a clear stance", which is reflected in the title of GMF 2016: "Media. Freedom. Values."
This year's international media congress hosted by Deutsche Welle was attended by more than 2,000 participants, who came together in Bonn, Germany, to share their expertise on "Media and Foreign Policy in the Digital Age". DW Director General Peter Limbourg said that many of the discussions in the 34 workshops echoed general consensus that high-quality media is indispensible to foreign-policy processes and diplomacy. "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."
Stance is based on values, Limbourg said. "The digital age is also an era of competing values systems – a struggle which predominantly plays itself out through the media." A recurring theme among the many media professionals attending the conference was the threats to freedom of speech and freedom of the press around the globe, and efforts in authoritarian systems to suppress unwanted information or drown it out. "The challenge is to respond to this not with mere counter-propaganda," said Limbourg, "but to respond with bold, surprising, fresh and well-founded journalism."
As DW Director General pointed out, many of the discussions at this year's Global Media Forum "made it clear how essential the triad of media, freedom and values is to peaceful coexistence in our globalized world." On that closing note he announced the theme of the next year's conference: "Media. Freedom. Values." The 2016 Global Media Forum will take place from June 13 - 15, 2016, in Bonn.
International partners and co-hosts
DW's partners for the approximately 40 workshops and events 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 was co-hosted by the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Sparkasse Savings Bank in Bonn. Support was 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.