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Media and activism under spotlight at DW summit

Experts from around the world will meet in Germany in July to study the media’s role in an increasingly engaged world.

This year’s Deutsche Welle  (DW) Global Media Forum in Bonn features a line-up of guests speakers including Google critic Jeff Jarvis, Springer publishing group CEO Mathias Doepfner, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Egyptian political satirist Bassem Youssef and Glenn Greenwald, the investigative reporter who first covered the US National Security Agency files exposed by Edward Snowden. 

They will discuss various aspects of the conference theme “From Information to Participation – Challenges for the Media” from 30 June to 2 July 2014.

Organisers say there has been a global trend toward more active participation, community involvement and interest in political processes and decision-making by citizens around the world.

DW Director General Peter Limbourg says the media play an increasingly prominent role in this development, especially social networking channels. The Internet provides an infrastructure that enables more and more people to participate in influencing social change. It has become an indispensable part of global society.

“Information and interaction via digital media can provide the final impetus that transforms a latent mood into public opposition and mobilizes civil society,” says Mr Limbourg. “Therein lie the great opportunities of the digital age. At the same time, the freedom promised by the Internet is seriously at risk. Its misuse – whether in terms of surveillance, online crime or in other forms of abuse – poses a challenge for business, politics, media and society at large.”

This year marks the seventh anniversary of the conference series and more than 2,000 participants from 100 nations are expected to attend. 

DW’s national and international partners for the 40 workshops and events being held at the 2014 Global Media Forum include, Amnesty International, Deutsche Telekom, the Grimme-Institut, NATO, the United Nations, the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications and Voices of Africa.

The conference is co-hosted by the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Sparkasse Savings Bank in Bonn, with support from Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the City of Bonn. Cooperation partner is The Right Livelihood College Campus Bonn.