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Shirin Ebadi: 'The digital divide between North and South needs to be closed'

More than 1,000 guests from 100 countries take part in the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn.


During her keynote speech at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate from Iran, emphasized that “the digital divide between North and South needs to be closed as soon as possible”. She pointed out that while every second person in Western Europe owns a computer, 3,000 people in Angola share one. The unequal access to electronic means of communication like the Internet, and the simultaneous limitation to publication possibilities leads to “an unfair race” – with regards to media diversity as well as in the area of literature. “That is the reason that, for example, prizes for literary achievement are predominantly given to representatives from Western countries,” said Ebadi. And is “nothing that those involved can be proud of.”

Ebadi criticized Iran for its censuring measures and the government’s open assault on journalists. At the same time, she pointed out “subtle forms of censorship in Western countries.” As an example, she referred to the monopolistic structure of AOL Time Warner in the USA, which controls approximately 300 media.

Ebadi is one of the prominent participants at the first Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, taking place from June 2-4, 2008 at the World Conference Center Bonn. This year’s event focuses on media in peacebuilding and conflict prevention.

June 2, 2008

Christoph Jumpelt

Christoph Jumpelt

Head of Corporate Communications and Spokesperson

T. +49.228.429-2041


Global Media Forum 2017: Identity and Diversity

GMF 2017

June 19 - 21, 2017 | Bonn | 10th edition