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Identity and Diversity: 10th Global Media Forum in June 2017

Vera Tellmann
May 18, 2017

Nearly 2,000 experts from over 100 countries will be meeting at the World Conference Center Bonn from June 19-21 for the Global Media Forum (GMF), coordinated by Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

Global Media Forum 2017: Identity and Diversity

They will discuss the state of international politics and media development, human rights and sustainability as well as innovative journalism. Under the banner of “Identity and Diversity,” the 10th annual GMF brings media professionals together with players from the political, culture, business, development aid and research arenas. The majority of participants will be traveling from countries in which freedom of speech and press freedom are limited, sometimes to a large extent and including harassment against those who attempt to uphold those fundamental rights.

In plenary sessions and in workshops issues will be debated openly and controversially, yet conference participants will attempt to uncover solutions for the pressing questions global challenges present. Populism and ostracism in the “post-truth era” are on the agenda, as are the increasing dangers our democratic system of values is facing. Journalism is going through a time of great change due to developments in technology and an increasing civic interest in participation via social media.   

International decision-makers who will act as keynote speakers and panelists include the secretary general of the European Parliament, Klaus Welle, UNESCO's Deputy Secretary General Frank La Rue, entrepreneur and “Kremlin critic” Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Amnesty International's Secretary General Salil Shetty and one of the founders of the US initiative “Women's March,” Carmen Perez. Digital masterminds like Swedish “biohacker activist“ Hannes Sjoblad, Pete Koomen from experimentation platform provider Optimizely, and data scientist Michal Kosinski from Cambridge University will all share their expertise. 

German and international organizations and think tanks – such as the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Mercator Foundation, the Right Livelyhood Foundation and the European Endowment for Democracy initiative – will be presenting solutions-oriented projects addressing political aspects in society. 

Freedom of Speech Award 

For the third time, Deutsche Welle will be handing out its “Freedom of Speech Award” on June 19. This year DW will be honoring the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA). Last year's laureate Sedat Ergin, former editor-in-chief of the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, will attend the ceremony, while the recipient of the first Freedom of Speech Award, blogger Raif Badawi, remains imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

Deutsche Welle TV productions and documentary films

On the second day of the conference, the successful DW talk shows presented by Jaafar Abdul Karim in Arabic and Yoani Sánchez in Spanish will be recorded in front of a live audience. 

The well-received documentary “Afro.Deutschland” about the experiences of black people living in Germany and “Ai Weiwei Drifting,” a portrait of the Chinese dissident artist and activist, will be screened for conference participants. 
The cultural program of the GMF is set to include, among others, soul singer Joy Denalane, African satirists “Zambezi News” as well as Norwegian sound artist Maia Urstad and young Ukrainian musicians.