Kick-off for the Digital Conference Series
“Pluralism and Responsibility. Media in the Digital Society”

7 July 2020 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

The kick-off event for the digital conference series on EU media policy on 7 July 2020 has launched a debate on ensuring the diversity of media offerings in Europe. Under the auspices of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, this event aimed to provide an overview of the current challenges for European media and key issues for their future. The debate focussed in particular on the importance of quality journalism and an independent and diverse media landscape for the democratic process of opinion-formation, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following a video message by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Professor Monika Grütters, Minister of State and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, and Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Values and Transparency, presented possible goals for German and European media policy in a discussion with Peter Limbourg, Director General of Deutsche Welle. 

In his keynote speech, Alan N. Shapiro developed ideas for a future regulatory framework for the media from the perspective of a science fiction and media theorist. Dr. Mathias Döpfner, President of the Association of German Digitalpublisher and Newspaper Publishers, contributed his views on the challenges facing the media industry and possible solutions.

 Young international media researchers provided additional ideas by presenting the results of a workshop hosted by the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut on designing a coherent regulatory framework for the media.

Next, Noel Curran, Director General of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU); Guillaume de Posch, President of the Association of Television in Europe (ACT); and Valerie Mocker, Tech-for-Good Investor, discussed their views of media pluralism, quality journalism and the opportunities offered by digital transformation. The internationally renowned DW journalist Monika Jones hosted the event.

Click here to go to the programme

 The kick-off event was followed in September and October 2020 by five focus sessions devoted to the individual aspects of this issue. The results and conclusions of the digital conference series were summarised at an online closing event on 29 October 2020 and presented to the European Commission.