The DW Global Media Forum 2023 concluded its 16th edition today in Bonn following impact-driven dialogues with global leaders on media regulation and the impact of war on access to a free press.
The two-day forum convened leaders on the theme of "Overcoming Divisions," with a focus on driving concerted action among key global stakeholders. Media leaders spoke on the outlook for press freedom, budget pressures and extraordinary advances in artificial intelligence that are impacting the long-term prospects for journalism.
Russian Nobel prize-winning journalist Dmitry Muratov opened the second day with a look at the impact of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine on the press in his home country: "Russia is not Europe anymore. The window to Europe has been closed and has been closed with bars," Muratov said.
The Nobel laureate urged support for journalists. "The most difficult question – why do Russians stay silent? Why do they not rebel? Are all Russians slaves? – I'm not going to answer. I'll answer with the question: where should they speak? Demonstrations are forbidden; 20,000 litigations against peace activists; 300 media [outlets have been] closed. In parliament, there’s not a single MP who speaks for peace. Those in prison should have our respect, we should try to help them."
"I officially asked the red-cross to help Alexej Nawalny, leader of the Russian opposition. For 883 days he’s not only in a prison, but a prison within a prison. This is a place where people are turned into living corpse. The red cross cannot intervene here," he said.
Muratov called on the international community to prevent Russia's media blackout, after the country forced the closure of nearly all independent media outlets and blocked major platforms. "Let's not allow YouTube to be shut down. Let's not allow Wikipedia to be shut down. These are the last outlets where content can be shared by journalists. If YouTube and Wikipedia are shut down, engineers will have to fight for freedom of the press."
In a separate panel, German Iranian journalist Gilda Sahebi also stressed the role of social media in reporting the protests in Iran: "Good journalism and social media go together, especially in Iran, also in Germany. We, journalists, also depend on social media not only to bring our stories, but also to have other perspectives, to listen to other voices we might not find otherwise."
SharpShark start-up founder Sasha Ivanova (fourth from right) won the start-up contest at the Global Media Forum 2023.
In the afternoon, GMF announced the three finalists of the annual media start-up contest@GMF, with Sasha Ivanova, founder of the startup SharpShark, taking first place. SharpShark is a blockchain-powered tool that helps companies and individuals protect their intellectual property and monetize their textual, visual, and other copyrightable content.
The winner of the 2023 DW Freedom of Speech Award is Oscar Martinez, the Salvadoran chief editor of the online investigative outlet El Faro, who was honored at the GMF on Monday, June 19.
The DW Global Media Forum will return to its traditional June slot in Bonn next year on June 17 and 18 for its 17th edition.
This is Global Media Forum's 16th year of hosting sessions that welcome diverse groups from around the world to listen and share experience with experts and leaders. The DW Global Media Forum offers a unique interdisciplinary platform for media professionals as well as decision-makers from politics, civil society, culture, education, business, and science from all over the world to get together and to learn from each other as part of an intercultural exchange since 2008. The GMF is sponsored by the German Federal Foreign Office, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Stiftung Internationale Begegnung der Sparkasse in Bonn, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the City of Bonn, and Meedia.
For more information, visit gmf-event.com.
Get free GMF photos here.