Human Wrongs Watch
Bonn, 2 July 2014 — “We need media that covers power and doesn’t cover for power,” said U.S. journalist Amy Goodman in a discussion on political opinion-making in the digital age at the three-day [30 June-2 July 2014] Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn.*
Amy Goodman | Photo: Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2014
Discussing the proper role of journalism in covering topics such as war and political crises, U.S. journalist and co-founder of the independent news program, Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman, says, “I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead it is all too often wielded as a weapon of war.”
These are critical times in the U.S., says Goodman, “when whistleblowers are under attack, when journalists who are supposed to be there to ensure the functioning of a democratic society, are very much under siege.”
She stated that under the Obama Administration, “More whistleblowers have been prosecuted than in all the presidencies combined of the past.”In reference to NSA inquiries taking place this week in Germany, she said, “There is a very serious opportunity this week for Germany to open up a discussion that we may not be having in the United States.”
The role of journalists in totalitarian states was also part of the debate.
Guy Berger, Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO, says that journalists are, “symbols of freedom of expression for everyone. If you don’tprotect them, their sources will be frozen.”
His remarks refer to November 2, which the United Nations has declared as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
In a discussion about striking a balance between preserving civic freedom, state security and personal privacy, Matthew Armstrong, member of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, says, “You can’t censor the Internet. In fact what we have seen is that when regimes shut down mobile and Internet connectivity – whether it was Iran, Syria or in a dozen other cases – they turn them back on very quietly … because of the collateral damage it causes to the regime.”
Continuing in this regard, Emma Ruby-Sachs, Campaign Director at the social activism network, Avaaz.org, called for more freedom of opinion online.
“The right of the people to speak freely and to deliver information is fundamental.” For her, the Internet is the “new global superpower.”
- For more information about the conference, go to www.dw-gmf.de.
- Photographs from all the events will be posted continuously at flickr.com/deutschewelle/collections. Alternatively, photos are available upon request from Lisa Flanakin, Tel. +49 173 850 7281
- To watch the live stream of selected events, go to www.dw.de/media-center/live-tv/s-100825/channel/9798
- Follow the Global Media Forum on a variety of social media networks:
- Twitter.com/dw_gmf (English); twitter.com/deutschewelle (German)
- Twitter hashtags:#dw_gmf and#be_part
- facebook.com/dw.gmf (English) and facebook.com/dw.deutschewelle (German)
- Audio recordings of the events will be made available continuously on soundcloud.com/dwgmf. You can download the files in MP3 format.
*Source: Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2014. Author Kathrin Reinhard / df. Editor Susanne Nickel. Go to Original.
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