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Video: Call to Action by the participants of the M100YEJ workshop

In a methodically guided, interdisciplinary workshop, various scenarios of possible future media orders were developed. This video serves a call to action with key implications of the scenarios.

Under the title “The local-global nexus: Exploring new strategies for local journalism in the post-covid era”, this year’s participants of the Young European Journalists Workshop (M100YEJ) dealt with the future of (local) journalism in a global world along the dimensions of politics, economy, society and innovation from August 27 to September 17, 2020. The central focus of the workshop was the subsequent interdisciplinary scenario process on the future of Europe’s media landscape in 2030.

An increasingly important skill in times of digitalization – and especially for media professionals – is the topic of future management: Anticipating trends and possible future developments and, building on this, making recommendations for action. In a methodically guided, interdisciplinary scenario workshop, various scenarios of possible future media orders (from “worst case” to “best case”) were developed, which finally served as a basis for the discussions at the international media conference M100 Sanssouci Colloquium on September 17 under the title “NEUSTART: Shaping the Post-Covid Media Order”.

Call to Action by the M100 Young European Journalists:

“The threats we have identified affect governments and nation states as much as the media and free press. It is both your responsibility and prerogative to address systemic issues collectively. You may not be able to introduce legislative change but you can still do something.

For example in our positive scenario media literacy becomes compulsory in schools, but as media organisations are you providing resources for people to fact check, cross reference and exemplify the difference between fact and opinion?

In our snapshot of the future, new funding systems both allow and are symptomatic of a new cooperative relationship between journalists and their readers, and play a big role in regaining trust and redefining how journalism works.

These systems include: traditional advertising, new forms of cooperative membership subscriptions alongside current models and foundation and public sector grants (supported through legislation taxing big tech and wider societal appreciation for the importance of public service journalism).

New technology also plays a big role. If content takes a new form, is it not reasonable to suggest that people will pay or consume that content in a new way too. But even if we put new technology to the side for a moment and instead think about how we can change the editorial and production styles we have now. Many people feel news is bad for them, so lets change how we report and connect issues to peoples lives. It’s not about being overtly positive – the world is not an overly positive place – but if we change our story telling so people feel they are on a journey and understand some context then the news becomes less of a deluge of depressing unconnected events.

A big part of this is also representation and diversity. A more diverse newsroom can better represent its audience and put forward a new host of storytellers. Despite coming from Europe, Pakistan, Singapore and the Russian Far-East a recurring theme in all the scenarios and debates was a fear amongst young journalists that fake news and its impact on trust in the media are the biggest issues we face. Yet we all believe that journalism has the potential to connect with people on a more personal level and cut through sensationalist and divisive coverage. But it needs innovation and it needs support.”