Today’s world is looking more and more like a global information society. With just a few mouse clicks on the Internet we can find news, gather information or send messages. But there’s a long way to go before everyone can use this knowledge and gain access to education via the web. About 800 million people around the world are illiterate. Only one third of the world’s population has access to the Internet.
An international conference in Germany was looking for solutions to this issue. Worldwide education, lifetime learning and the role of the new media were the central themes of the 5th Global Media Forum of Deutsche Welle (DW) which took place from 25 to 27 June in Bonn. The 2012 media conference of Germany’s international broadcasting service ran under the motto “Culture. Education. Media – Shaping a Sustainable World”. Around 1,500 media experts from around the globe gathered at the Bonn World Conference Center to join in exchanges with researchers and politicians, economic and cultural representatives and development cooperation experts. The programme of the Global Media Forum consisted of more than 50 panel discussions and workshops. Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle spoke at the start of the second day of the conference on the topic “Shaping globalization together: Deepening dialogues and building partnerships.”
With the event Deutsche Welle was aiming to introduce the topic of education into the context of intercultural dialogue and address the question of the role and responsibility of the media. As Deutsche Welle’s Director-General Erik Bettermann stressed: “The media can be a powerful instrument in implementing the right to education. Especially the digital media world opens up new possibilities to improve access to education and culture. In this respect the media play a decisive role as a means of enlightenment. They have a worldwide responsibility.”
Photo © Deutsche Welle/M. Müller