Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2021 To Kick Off On June 14

The DW’s mainly virtual Global Media Forum (GMF) on June 14 and 15 will feature high-profile speakers, guests and participants from more than 160 countries. They will discuss aspects of this year’s theme “Disruption and innovation” in panel discussions and workshops. Registration on the website is free of charge. The live stream from the DW headquarters in Bonn can also be accessed via that website.

The media conference will be opened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday morning, 10 a.m. (CEST). Minister-President of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet (CDU party) and Minister of State for International Cultural Policy at Germany’s Federal Foreign Office Michelle Müntefering will also address the audience, as well as Annalena Baerbock, Chairwoman of the Green party of Germany, and the Mayor of Bonn, Katja Dörner.

German media experts at the GMF 2021 include

Julia Becker, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board, Funke Mediengruppe

Ellen Ehni, Editor-in-Chief Television, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)

Tobias Schmid, Director Media Authority in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia

International experts from the fields of politics, journalism, human rights and academia include

Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and historian, USA

Audrey Tang, Digital Minister of Taiwan

Elif Shafak, British-Turkish novelist

Felipe Neto, YouTube star and influencer, Brazil

Irene Khan, UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Opinion, Bangladesh

Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch (HRW), USA

Jesper Doub, Director of News Partnerships, Facebook, Germany

Leymah Roberta Gbowee, Noble Peace laureate, Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, Liberia

Maria Ressa, journalist and CEO of Rappler, Indonesia

Nuseir Yassin, founder & CEO of Nas Daily, Israel

Noel Curran, Director General, European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Ireland

Philipp Justus, Vice President Central Europe, Google, Germany

Steven Pinker, cognitive scientist, Harvard University, USA

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, opposition politician, Belarus

Timothy Snyder, author and Richard C. Levin Professor of History, Yale University, USA

Vĕra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, European Commission, Czech Republic

The two-day-conference will offer discussions and insights on topics such as digitalization, democracy, cyber security, constructive journalism and countering misinformation – and how these topics are interconnected. Here are a few highlights:

Digital platforms are increasingly becoming gatekeepers in the battle for users’ attention. How can media benefit from the innovative power of these intermediaries? How can they support each other with innovation while strengthening journalism? These topics will be discussed by Vĕra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission, Philipp Justus, Vice President Central Europe at Google, Naja Nielsen, Digital Director BBC News, and Julia Becker, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of the Funke Mediengruppe: “Looking into the future – A fruitful endeavor? Social media and journalism” on Monday, June 14,10:30 a.m. (CEST). is a new multilingual social media offer for young EU citizens, initiated by DW and France Médias Monde in partnership with media outlets in six European countries. On June 14 at 2:40 p.m. (CEST), the editors will present the unique project. In an additional session at 3:15 p.m., attendees will discuss “Breaking up national media bubbles – cross-border collaborative journalism initiatives.”

Constructive journalism can be easily confused with feel-good journalism or positive news as a recent internal study conducted by DW’s Trends and Knowledge team shows. So what exactly is constructive journalism? On June 14, 2:00 p.m. (CEST), the GMF session “Beyond who, what, when, where, and how – Exploring constructive journalism” will provide some answers, with experts Ruona Meyer (Solutions Journalism Network), Ulrik Haagerup (Constructive Institute) and Ellen Heinrichs (DW).

Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale University, will explore disruption in western societies in his impulse: “What went wrong?- Disrupted democracies and the media” on June 15, 11.20 a.m. (CEST)

Limited access to reliable information, misinformation on social media and restrictions on press freedom: journalists worldwide are under constant pressure in the pandemic. How are local and community media functioning in the pandemic? And how can newsrooms survive and come out of the crisis stronger? Media experts Teresa Chirwa-Ndanga (Media Institute of Southern Africa), Belén Pardo Herrero (Vokaribe Radio 89.6 FM) and Dina Aboughazala ( will explore in the session “Information saves lives – The role of local media in fighting the infodemic,” hosted by DW Akademie on June 15, 3:00 p.m. (CEST).

DW Freedom of Speech Award 2021

The annual DW Freedom of Speech Award ceremony on June 14, 5:20 p.m. (CEST) is one of the highlights of the GMF. Nigerian journalist Tobore Ovuorie is the seventh and second female laureate. Her undercover investigation into human trafficking and sex work helped her shed light on the mafia networks which operate between Nigeria and Europe. Since 2015, the DW Freedom of Speech Award has been honoring journalists’ outstanding commitment to human rights and particularly, freedom of expression.

Partner session

This year, numerous partner organizations from all over the world will be contributing their topics to the Deutsche Welle media conference by hosting and joining several sessions – including the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (based in Istanbul), the Association of German Newspaper Publishers (Berlin), the WDR and the Goethe Institute (Munich).

The DW Global Media Forum is Germany’s only international conference for representatives of the media from all over the world. Together with its main partners, the German Federal Foreign Office, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn, the Federal ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the City of Bonn, DW offers media professionals a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary discussions with opinion-leaders from different fields around the pressing issues of our time.


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