Speaking with One Another Rather Than about One Another: The First China-Germany-USA Media Forum

Editors in chief and well-known media representatives from China, Germany, and the United States came together in Berlin for the first joint media forum between the three nations. On the invitation of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, they talked about journalistic challenges that extend beyond their own national borders - from fake news and continuing digitization on to the media’s responsibilities.

Robert Bosch Stiftung | May 2017
Foto: Anita Back

The challenges that journalism faces in China, Germany, and the United States are diverse yet similar: the role of the media in the "post-fact age" and dealing with fake news, the future of newspapers, continuing digitalization in the media, and the responsibility of the media when reporting on terrorist attacks.

At the First China-Germany-USA Media Forum, which took place from May 8 to 10, 2017, in Berlin, eight high-ranking media representatives from each country discussed the aforementioned topics as well as other current questions from the worlds of media, politics, and economics. The overarching theme of this year’s forum was "Global Pressures and Domestic Responses: German, Chinese, and US Perspectives." Uta-Micaela Dürig, Chief Executive Officer of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, emphasized the importance of the trilateral exchange on a level playing field. Another important part of this is "discussing topics openly from different perspectives, and yet talking with one another rather than about one another," says Dürig.

The Robert Bosch Stiftung puts on the China-Germany-USA Media Forum in cooperation with the Chinese daily newspaper Global Times and in collaboration with the Center for Transatlantic Relations of Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. The trilateral media forum is meant to foster understanding for different perspectives, thereby contributing to more diversified reporting.

Study Tour in Hamburg

After the forum concluded, a study tour brought the American and Chinese participants to Hamburg. Their agenda included talks with Dr. Carsten Brosda, Hamburg’s Senator for Media and Culture, and the Hamburg Port Authority. A two-hour tour - both on foot and by boat - took the media representatives closer to the transatlantic and transpacific connections of Hamburg harbor and led through, among other places, the HafenCity district, Hamburg’s "new downtown" along the Elbe river. Furthermore, the participants of the study tour stopped by the Tagesschau studio and gained some insight into the production and working environment of Germany’s most-watched news show. The cultural highlight of the tour was a concert at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, where the participants listened to the sounds of Steve Reich’s postmodern piece "Drums."