The 2014 Global Media Forum: Caught in the World Wide Web

Digital participation and real-life surveillance

Bonn, (PresseBox) - This year's Global Media Forum features an impressive lineup of guest speakers, including Google critic Jeff Jarvis, Springer CEO Mathias Doepfner, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Egyptian political satirist Bassem Youssef.

NSA investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald and activist Amy Goodman are also among the high-profile figures who will be discussing various aspects of the conference theme, "From Information to Participation - Challenges for the Media," during Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum from June 30 - July 2, 2014 in Bonn, Germany.

Maidan, Rio de Janeiro, Gezi Park, Tahrir Square - they have all become symbols of a global trend toward more active participation, community involvement and interest in political processes and decision-making. 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 DW Director General Peter Limbourg, pointing out that "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."

Shaping the debates at this year's Global Media Forum are the opportunities and dangers of the digital world and how they impact the real world. This year marks the seventh anniversary of the conference series and once again more than 2,000 participants from 100 nations are expected to attend. The congress will take place in the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany.

Media summit igniting debate

U.S. journalist, blogger and author Jeff Jarvis is certain to polarize audiences. He is one of the renowned panelists taking part in the "Media Summit" which will kick off the conference on June 30. Joining him will be Peter Horrocks, Director of the BBC World Service Group, Mostefa Souag, Acting Director General of the Al Jazeera Media Network, and DW Director General Peter Limbourg. Plus, with Mathias Doepfner, CEO of Axel Springer SE, also facing off against Jarvis, the discussion promises to be a heated one. Only recently, the Springer CEO strongly criticized Jarvis for "demonizing" Google.

"Political opinion-making in the digital age" is the topic of the main panel discussion on the second day of the conference. Following the session, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will address the conference theme from a foreign policy perspective.

A plenary session on the third day of the conference will explore the question of how we can counteract our extensive loss of personal privacy through the Internet. And a "Transatlantic talk" will examine the state of U.S.-European relations in light of the NSA surveillance scandal.

On the subject of cyber security, participants will be presented with tips and advice on encrypting their communications at a series of CryptoParties, which will be held as special side events at the conference.

The 2014 BOBs Awards

The main winners of this year's annual DW international competition, The BOBs - Best of Online Activism, will be honored on June 30 at the Global Media Forum. Among the honorees is photoblogger Mosa'ab Elshamy from Egypt. Germany's Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller, will launch the ceremony with a keynote speech. As a special feature, the awards ceremony will include an appearance by Egyptian political satirist Bassem Youssef, whose remarkable career has taken him from YouTube activist to global TV star watched by millions of viewers. His TV show Al Bernameg (The Program) is broadcast throughout the Arab world on Deutsche Welle television.

International partners and co-hosts

DW's national and international partners for the some 40 workshops and events being held at the 2014 Global Media Forum include, among others, 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. Support is also kindly provided by 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.

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