Media Forum China - Germany
Civil Society and Good Governance

Media Forum China - Germany

Media Forum China - Germany 2016

German and Chinese media representatives met in the ancient Chinese imperial city Xi'an and disussed about current political issues and specific challenges of the media industry. A three-day study tour led the German participants behind the scenes of the Archaeological Research Center of the Terracotta Army and into a modern electric car.
China-Germany Media Forum 2015

Prominent media representatives and editors in chief from China and Germany met in Stuttgart to discuss current issues such as the conflict in Ukraine and the Occupy movement in Hong Kong. During the sixth China-Germany Media Forum, the experts addressed the issue of a media landscape in a changing and complex world.
2014 China-Germany Media Forum

Prominent German and Chinese journalists and editors met in Beijing for the 5th Media Forum China - Germany. The forum, organized by the Robert Bosch Stiftung together with the Global Times, was held under the theme "Treatment of minorities and integration in the PRC".
Photos: Thorsten Futh
Andreas Cichowicz, editor in chief of television at Norddeutscher Rundfunk
The Media Forum was held at the Foundation’s Berlin Representative Office
Liu Beixian, President China News Agency
Ingrid Hamm, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Klaus Töpfer, Germany’s former minister of the environment
Dai Xiaojing, President SEEC Media Group
Meeting with Germany’s foreign minister Guido Westerwelle
Bai Yansong, presenter CCTV
Thomas Schmid, Die Welt
Ingrid Hamm, Robert Bosch Stiftung
Sabine Christiansen and Paul-Bernhard Kallen, Chairman of Hubert Burda Medien AG
Hu Xijin, editor in chief of Global Times
Graphic overview
4th China-Germany Media Forum

Stuttgart/Berlin, June 24, 2013 - Between June 19 and 21, editors in chief and prominent media representatives from Germany and China came together at the invitation of the Robert Bosch Stiftung to form the 4th China-Germany Media Forum. The topic of this year’s forum, held at the Foundation’s Berlin Representative Office, was "Transformations in the Media, Politics, and the Environment."

The focus was on China’s new leadership and the social challenges facing the country. In addition, the participants discussed the growing awareness for environmental issues. China’s challenges in the field of environmental protection are enormous, and Germany is tackling the energy revolution. In addition, those in attendance also exchanged ideas and opinions regarding the experiences Germany has had with social transformation processes since reunification. For this purpose, the Chinese editors in chief spent two days in Leipzig before the forum to take part in a study tour. Meetings with state politicians, the "Runde Ecke" Stasi museum, and a discussion with colleagues from the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (central German broadcasting company) were all on the agenda.

The future business models of media companies in both countries were another focus of the talks. In this context, the chairman of Hubert Burda Medien AG Dr. Paul-Bernhard Kallen was invited to the event as a special guest, and he provided insights into the Burda business model during a dinner conversation with Sabine Christiansen.

Highlights of this year’s event included a meeting with Germany’s foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, attending the speech by American president Barack Obama at the Brandenburg Gate, and the input received from Klaus Töpfer, Germany’s former minister of the environment, regarding the German energy revolution.

Next year the forum will be held in China once again

"The significance of this forum lies in the fact that it brings together media companies from both countries. All participants that we invite from China are extremely influential in the Chinese media landscape. The same applies to the German side. Our meeting helps fuel the dialog between both societies, which is extremely important," says Hu Xijin, editor in chief of Global Times.

Andreas Cichowicz, editor in chief of television at Norddeutscher Rundfunk (northern German broadcasting company): "This direct engagement with Chinese media representatives, getting to know them and learning about their evaluation of the political situation and attitudes in the media is important, particularly when the goal is to build relationships and prevent crises. What really impressed me right from the start was the critical debate we engage in. Even though we have differing viewpoints, we can object to and explain our respective positions very openly. This is something I greatly appreciate, and I am happy that this is also seen and appreciated by the Chinese side."

The Robert Bosch Stiftung has been working with Global Times, the English-language daily newspaper in China, since 2010 to bring prominent media representatives and editors in chief from major German and Chinese media outlets together to debate the media’s challenges and responsibilities in the context of international reporting.
Third Annual China-Germany Media Forum: The Changing Face of China’s West
Editors in chief of German and Chinese media outlets came together for a conference in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu

The main topic of the Third Annual China-Germany Media Forum was "The Changing Face of China’s West," and media representatives from both countries spent two days discussing current issues related to this rural area of China. The forum was held in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China.

Chengdu is known as a city driving the economy of western China. On the one hand, the city exhibits the typical phenomena of Chinese urbanization: in a few short years, the city’s population has doubled to 14 million residents. Building a sustainable transportation infrastructure is considered one of the city’s greatest challenges. On the other hand, the Chengdu development model also has some unique characteristics, as the city is trying to maintain a balance between economic and environmental interests. Chengdu is the only major metropolitan city in China that has succeeded in minimizing the economic differences between the city and its rural surroundings as well as reducing the rural depopulation through rural economic stimulus packages.

This was the first time the media forum was embedded into a two-day study tour around the region where the conference was held. The highlights of the tour included a visit to the FAW-Volkswagen production facility, Longquanyi, the satellite city founded for emigrants, and the Chengdu City Planning Exhibition Hall.

The Arab Spring, the European Debt Crisis, and the Role of Social Media

At the media forum, the participating media representatives from both countries discussed current global issues such as the Arab Spring, the European debt crisis, and the role of social media such as Facebook and Weibo.

"The discussions were intense, held at eye level, and their quality has improved even further," said Dr. Ingrid Hamm, Executive Director of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and announced a continuation of the media forum next year in eastern Germany. "We will do everything in our power to hold an event next year of a similar caliber." Hu Xijin, editor in chief of the Global Times, was extremely pleased about the open and honest exchange between the two countries. "By participating in this exchange, we are taking our social responsibility as media representatives seriously."

The Robert Bosch Stiftung has been working with the English-language daily newspaper Global Times since 2010 to bring prominent media representatives and editors in chief from major German and Chinese media outlets together for talks, with the purpose of debating the media’s challenges and responsibilities in the context of international journalism.

(Oliver Radtke, September 2012)

Video
The former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt is looking ahead to the future. “It really makes sense that the Robert Bosch Stiftung launched the China-Germany Media Forum,” he said after a Q&A session with participants. “A direct and open exchange of information and ideas between Chinese and German journalists in leadership positions is important for promoting understanding between the two countries. They should now meet every year.”

The Foundation invited high-ranking journalists and editors-in-chief from leading German and Chinese media outlets to the event in Berlin. During two days, the participants discussed topics such as overcoming the global financial crisis, current energy policies, and the possible consequences of the North African revolutions. In addition, a particular focus was on the duties and responsibilities of the media in both countries.

Guests of the Federal President

After their two-day exchange, the journalists and media managers reported on the results of the event to Germany’s Federal President Christian Wulff in a confidential discussion at the Bellevue Palace. The participants who traveled from China included Zhang Yannong, President of the People’s Daily, Hu Xijin, Editor-in-Chief of the Global Times, and Liu Beixian, President of the China News Service. They met with German media representatives including ZDF Editor-in-Chief Peter Frey, Thomas Osterkorn, Editor-in-Chief of Stern magazine, and Wolfgang Büchner, Editor-in-Chief of the German Press Agency, among others.

The Robert Bosch Stiftung organizes the Media Forum in cooperation with the Global Times, one of the largest daily newspapers in the People’s Republic of China. The next event is planned for 2012 in China.

Picture Gallery

From left: Hu Xijin, Editor-in-Chief of the Global Times, Zhang Yannong, President of the People’s Daily, Dr. Ingrid Hamm, Executive Director Robert Bosch Stiftung, and Germany’s Federal President Christian Wulff
From left: Ingrid Hamm, Hu Xijin, Christian Wulff, and Zhang Yannong
The whole group in front of Schloss Bellevue

Quotes from Participants

Photos: Anita Back
Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt
"It really makes sense that the Robert Bosch Stiftung launched the China-Germany Media Forum. A direct and open exchange of information and ideas between Chinese and German journalists in leadership positions is important for promoting understanding between the two countries. They should now meet every year."
Sabine Christiansen, President of TV21
“The Media Forum China - Germany once again proved how important it is to talk with one another, and not just about one another. At the center of the event were the intense debates concerning freedom of opinion and control of the media in China, how people who criticize the government there are handled, the working conditions of Western colleagues in the People’s Republic, as well as many more issues. The extremely candid discussions have once again shown, just as they did last year in Shanghai, that the forum helped overcome prejudices on both sides and that direct information right from the source - for example, with regard to the growth of social networks - truly leads to more understanding.”
Bai Yansong, CCTV News Anchor
“In the dialog and competition between China and the rest of the world, the Media Forum China - Germany, which is jointly organized by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Global Times, is an extremely important platform. Not only did journalists from both countries analyze the current state of their relationships at this forum, but they also developed a new self-confidence for forming future relationships, as well as a first taste of how these future relationships will be. That’s why this forum is extremely important.”
Ma Weigong, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, China Radio International
"The event left a deep impression on me - we spoke very openly and discussed a wide range of different topics. All of the participants were interested in an honest and direct exchange of information, ideas, and opinions. The media’s job is to build bridges, and this event plays a significant role in doing so. It makes sense and should be held on an annual basis, just as Mr. Schmidt said in his closing address."
Andreas Cichowicz, Editor-in-Chief, NDR Television
"I am surprised at how open and how open to criticism the Chinese side was; I expected the Chinese delegation to be much more closed-minded. We learned about a wide range of different opinions here, and I am pleased that we, as Germans, were also the subject of criticism as well. In earlier times, the Chinese side probably would have stood up and left the room. That’s why I believe that the Media Forum China - Germany is very conducive to discussing problems in an open and transparent manner. We’ll have to wait and see whether or not we can come up with solutions. This meeting is important."
Johannes Pflug, MdB
"I think it’s good and important that the Robert Bosch Stiftung holds the Media Forum China - Germany. This platform is a successful example of how to discuss critical reporting based on different views of government as well as how to expand the things members of the German and Chinese media have in common over the long term."
Chen Tong, Editor-in-Chief, Sina.com
"The discussions were direct and passionate, with the participants speaking as equals. The topics were wide-ranging and focused on everyday working life. As a result, the forum acts as an important indicator for future work."
Ines Pohl, Editor-in-Chief, taz
"I am impressed, extremely pleased, and also surprised by both the willingness to criticize the other side and the ability to listen to criticism and accept it from each other. We clearly saw that it isn’t only the Chinese guests who sometimes overreact with lots of emotion to buzzwords like “fear” but that, on the German side, words such as "overexaggeration" or even "lie" are often also apt, and that we sometimes react severely and unreasonably as well. I think we learned a lot from each other. This was an excellent event, and the closing words from former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt were a real highlight. A hearty congratulations goes to the organizers. Thank you very much."
EXPO 2010: Media Forum in Shanghai

The often one-sided and biased China-reporting in Germany and reporting on Germany in China is an indicator for the necessity of intensive and rational dialog. In cooperation with one of China’s largest news papers, The Global Times, the Robert Bosch Stiftung brought together prominent media professionals and editors-in-chief from both China and Germany to discuss the challenges and responsibilities of international news reporting.

The talks were in tune with the motto of the EXPO („Better City, Better Life“) and combined relevant and contemporary problems of demographic development, urbanization and related ecological issues with larger looming questions of mutual perception and mutual media coverage. The talks were held in Shanghai from 17 to 18 May. On 20 May participants of the media forum met in discussion with German President Prof. Dr. Köhler and members of  the President's high-ranking delegation to debate the outcome of the talks held earlier. The successful media round table will be continued in Munich next year.

Picture Gallery

Zhao Zhongying, director "China National Radio", and Professor Dr. Joachim Rogall, head of department of the Robert Bosch Stiftung
Ding Gang, vice director international department "People's Daily"
Hans-Martin Tillack (re.), German magazine "stern", and Marc Bermann, program officer of the Robert Bosch Stiftung
Ciyun Chang (left), editor-in-chief "Shanghai Daily", and Wolfgang Büchner, editor-in-chief Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)
Dr. Ingrid Hamm, executive director of the Robert Bosch Stiftung
Ingrid Hamm and Hu Xijin, ecitor-in-chief "Global Times"
Hans Werner Kilz (left), editor-in-chief "Süddeutsche Zeitung", and Peter Limbourg, editor-in-chief "N24"
Dr. Josef Joffe, publisher "Die Zeit"
Media round table
Ingrid Hamm and German President Professor Dr. Horst Köhler
Talks with German President Köhler
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