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06.06.2009 General News

Invest In Good Quality Journalism- DW Director General

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The world must be ready to invest in good quality journalism worldwide, Deutsche Welle Director General, Erik Bettermann, said at the opening of the Second Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany.
He argued: 'In the future, it will be required for civil society and the peacemaking processes, publishers and broadcasters to drastically assimilate to a changing media world in order to maintain journalism with quality and relevant content.'
Mr Bettermann said although journalists might have lost their monopoly on reporting world issues, they are gaining a new function as scouts for the increasingly confusing media world.
'Reliability and independent and balanced reporting will be valued even more in the future,' stated Bettermann with confidence. He also said that journalists are required to live up to their social responsibility and that 'a return to distinctive journalistic ethics is necessary'.
'New media isn't destroying journalism, but rather evolving a media-encompassing copy and paste philosophy and digital content recycling,' he said, adding 'high speed-journalism isn't the only answer in the frenzy of new media.'
He said the financial and economic crisis, which have heavily affected the media markets and structure, have reinforced these tendencies even more.
The battered structures - like the shrinking local editorial departments and news agencies - will be hard to regenerate.
'We must actively counteract the depletion of journalistic resources and the loss of pluralism,' said Mr Bettermann.
He went on to say that the 'reconciliation of traditional and new media' can lead to effective new formats and that the individual strengths have to be used and combined intelligently.
This, he said, 'creates a possibility that didn't exist before - to use journalism to leave an even more lasting impression on the public and thereby be economically successful as a media company'.
The Head of Germany's international broadcaster referred to the importance of new media for restricted societies, saying the Blogs and Twitter have broken through the governmental monopoly on information in many countries.
'Today, anyone can be a public watchdog. It is now even possible for people in isolated countries to receive first-hand information from around the globe. Democracy and the public outcry for human rights can't be subdued. Worldwide the media is taking huge steps towards democracy. When I look at China or Iran, it becomes clear to me. The foundation is in place.'
Mr Betterman said in many developing and emerging countries there will be digital leaps that people never expected. The role of the western world is to support these efforts - for example with training and education for media professionals.
About 900 participants are taking part in the global event, which is on the theme 'Conflict Prevention in the Multimedia Age'.
The Foundation for International Dialogue of the Sparkasse in Bonn is co-hosting the event.
The convention is also supported by Germany's Federal Foreign Office; the government of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the city of Bonn; DHL; The Economist; Intermedia; KD Deutsche Rheinschifffahrt AG; the dpa group of companies; news aktuell and picture alliance.

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