During the events, media stakeholders from all over Europe will address the current challenges for Europe’s media landscape and will discuss how it could look going forward. There will be special emphasis on the importance of an independent, plural media landscape and high-quality journalistic content for the democratic opinion-forming process, particularly against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Grütters said:

During crises like the one we are currently in, plural and independent media are fundamental to the provision of reliable information. We must protect media pluralism in these times: it can sometimes seem that we have too much information but, on closer scrutiny, we see that information provision is governed by a de facto monopoly of individual media providers. We must take action against the limiting of freedom of expression and against the spread of misinformation. To achieve this, in the coming six months we want to spark a wide-ranging debate at the highest European level on issues including the improved traceability of media content and the transparency of algorithms. I am committed to working alongside my European counterparts for a common European approach to these issues.

Following a video message from Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Minister of State Monika Grütters and EU Commissioner for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová presented the agenda and goals of a German and European media policy in a discussion with Peter Limbourg, Director General of Deutsche Welle, at today’s launch event. Afterwards, Noel Curran (Director General of the EBU), Guillaume de Posch (President of ACT) and Valerie Mocker (investor in non-profit social innovations) discussed the question of how to safeguard media pluralism in the digital age.

Today's kick-off event will be followed by five focus sessions in September and October 2020, which will go into individual aspects of the discussions in more depth. The findings of the conference series will be presented at a digital closing event on 29 October 2020 during the Medientage München congress, where they will be discussed with the European Commission and others.

The digital conference series “Pluralism and Responsibility. Media in a Digital Society” accompanies the work of the Audiovisual Working Party in Brussels. Among other things, the Working Party is to draw up Council conclusions on the topic of media pluralism, which can be adopted at the Council of Ministers on 1 December, chaired by Minister of State Monika Grütters.

Further events:

8 September 2020

“Visions of a coherent EU regulatory framework for the media”, Organiser: Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute

10 September 2020

“Time to think – Ideas for a new EU Media Policy”, Organiser: German federal states in cooperation with the Institute of European Media Law (EMR)

22 September 2020

“Stabilising a free regulatory framework for the media: From thought to action”, Organiser: European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA)

24 September 2020

“Regulation and responsibility of video-sharing platforms”, Organiser: European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO)

1 October 2020

“How can AI help ensure quality journalism?”, Organiser: Deutsche Welle