Global Media Forum 2019

The Global Media Forum 2019 organised by EURACTIV and Deutsche Welle (DW), saw over 2000 participants from 140 countries in a two-day event that discussed various aspects of freedom of media and freedom of expression.

The 12th edition ran under the title ‘Shifting Powers’ for, in many places in the world, including in Europe, the relationship between media, politics, and society is in a state of upheaval, the organiser explained. 

DW Director General Peter Limbourg stated that ‘Controlling access to information has become a tool of power, many politicians are broadcasting their very own messages by monopolising state-controlled media or by spreading disinformation in social networks. Freedom of expression is on the decline’ .

Panellists from Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, and Thailand agreed that even democratically elected governments are imposing curbs on media as the space for dissent is increasingly shrinking in Asia.

Growing government interference, risks to life of journalists, and lack of a cohesive network of journalists are added threats to the freedom of press globally and thus the institution of democracy itself. Veteran Bangladeshi journalist Mahfuz Anam, said, ‘It is time for journalists to come together. The Global Media Forum is an excellent platform for that. We need introspection. Press freedom is not for journalists but for the people’.