Objective journalism against inciting tweets

Global Media Forum 2019: How shifting powers challenge society and the media.

DW-Intendant Peter Limbourg
DW-Intendant Peter Limbourg DW/M. Müller - DW-Intendant Peter Limbourg

Journalists and representatives from media, politics and civil society from all over the world will attend the Global Media Forum of the Deutsche Welle (DW) from 27 to 28 May to join a debate on challenges posed by shifting powers. Three questions for Peter Limbourg, DW Director-General.

Mr Limbourg, the motto of the Global Media Forum is "The role of media in an age of shifting powers." Which powers are shifting?

At this year's Global Media Forum, we will discuss the effects of power shifts around the world. Journalism is facing new challenges. Populists and autocrats are spreading their message and striving for power through the media. Freedom of expression and the free flow of information are suffering because of this development. At the same time, big platforms are dominant and are increasingly influencing the reality of journalism.

"Fake News" has become a potent phrase in the public debate. How does it affect journalism?

Unfounded reports or fake news can easily be spread unchecked, especially through social media. Their authors claim to represent perspectives that are not covered by the "traditional" media or, as they allege, are deliberately obscured. Therefore, they claim that they are just offering their audience "alternative facts."

We work against this on a daily basis with independent, verified news and information. Deutsche Welle supports journalists around the world so they can continue to serve their important role unhindered while standing for freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the safety of their colleagues. The DW Akademie is a leading partner in the development of viable media systems and in settings standards for journalism education.

Today, more than ever, journalists must report objectively while putting facts into context.

Peter Limbourg, DW Director-General

If a single tweet today can excite the world in a matter of seconds, can the media still fulfill their role of objectively reporting facts?

Today, more than ever, journalists must report objectively while putting facts into context. This is a complex and often labor-intensive task given the countless confounding factors found online. Despite all the dangers that come with social media, I also want to emphasize its positive side. Properly applied, it offers us the opportunity to consume more and more journalistic content and the opportunity to view the world from different perspectives. This diversity of opinion is the lifeblood of our democracy.

Global Media Forum 2019, May 27 - 28, Bonn

Interview: Tanja Zech

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