In light of this year's Global Media Forum, Deutsche Welle's Editor-in-Chief for Regionalized Content Ute Schaeffer explains how DW is increasing its focus on educational broadcasts and multimedia projects.
The theme of this year's Global Media Forum in Bonn, taking place from June 25-27, is "Culture. Education. Media - Shaping a Sustainable World." Information and education are "at the core" of DW's global operations, said Schaeffer.
Deutsche Welle places special emphasis on regionalized, sustainable projects, Schaeffer explained, giving the brand-new multimedia project Education for All as an example. It features young bloggers from Argentina, Germany, Iraq, Kenya and Russia, who describe their personal educational paths and talk about their experiences in regards to education and opportunities in their home countries.
Helping to inform the world
The large demand for educational material is also reflected by the success of the multilingual project Learning by Ear. Its radio dramas about issues relevant to young people, produced in cooperation with partner stations in southern Africa and Afghanistan, are one of the discussion topics at this year's Global Media Forum. DW is now also producing Learning by Ear in Urdu for Pakistan.
Another of DW's educational offerings is language courses. "For those who want to learn German, as well as for those who teach German, we offer a wide range of courses," said Schaeffer. As part or this, the second season of the successful telenovela "JoJo sucht das Glück" is due to start soon.
Prominent education promoters
Schaeffer also mentioned the prominent interviewees who have emphasized the role of education in development and prosperity. This includes Iranian Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, who said that the "lack of Internet connections in rural Iran is a major hurdle for education - and in turn for the country's entire economic and political development, for democracy and for justice."
Somali peace activist Asha Haji Elmi once told DW's Amharic radio: "Education is a powerful tool for peacemaking. Education can serve as a tool for social change, a tool for enlightenment."
The Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2012 is under the patronage of the German Commission for UNESCO and is co-organized by the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Sparkasse bank in Bonn. It is supported by the German Foreign Office, the European Regional Development Fund, the Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and Media for the Federal State of North-Rhine Westphalia, the City of Bonn, DHL, the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.