M100 Young European Journalists at the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium 2018

The M100YEJ participants are selected

Potsdam, 17 July 2019. 25 journalists and media professionals from Europe, the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia are selected for the M100 Young European Journalists Workshop (M100YEJ) “Reading in the Digital Age – Innovative Journalism” on 9 -18 September in Berlin and Potsdam.

The 15th edition of the M100YEJ focuses on the challenges arising in the era of coexistence of traditional media and the digital revolution. New developments have brought a new dimension to news content and delivery, allowing media outlets to increase the pace of transmitting messages to their audience and to compete for their attention more successfully. At the same time, such intensification of interaction between media and people might occur at the expense of content and journalism’s core mission to provide unbiased, verified information. As a result, journalism has been losing its credibility, as people are increasingly challenged to differentiate accurate facts from disinformation.

One of the ways to address this challenge, proposed by a group of newly selected participants of the workshop, is to offer the media audience the larger variety of communication means with media outlets. Alina Girnet, Moldova, believes that the existing methods of dialogue between media and audience should be improved. In her opinion, the current debates lack the healthy component of the well-grounded, profound and argumentative discussions. During the M100YEJ workshop, Alina plans to work on her project with other members of her group aiming at developing and testing new means of communication between media outlets and the audience, such as feedback sections or regular meetings with the audience in order to rebuild trust in media.

By supporting such journalists initiatives the workshop “Reading in the Digital World – Innovative Journalism” aims to deal with different concepts of the digital transformation within media organizations and to discuss the role of print in the digital world. As technological developments pose new risks to both media outlets and their audience, limits of innovative and digital journalism will be discussed as well. With a view to practically testing the opportunities and limitations of journalism in the digital era, the selected participants of the M100 YEJ Workshop will have an opportunity to jointly develop new or elaborate the already existing innovative media initiatives. Within the several-day educational and practical activities, the participants will be able to work on their projects under the direction of prominent European and international media trainers. At the end of the training, the young journalists will present their ideas to a jury formed from the representatives of various media-related foundations and institutions.

Lika Eristavi from Georgia aims to use this opportunity of joint work with the European journalists and experts in order to improve media coverage of gender issues in her home country. As the topic of gender imbalance at work rarely comes to a focus of local media outlets, Lika hopes to find the best practices for reporting on such topics already proved in other countries. She believes that innovative tools in story-telling could assist her in drawing the general and multi-faceted picture of the problem and thus lead to positive changes in the situation with existing gender inequality in the country.

Some of the selected participants are more concerned about the danger of one-sided reporting of media and are eager to contribute to the set-up of various international platforms for collaboration and communication of journalists. Such a situation became the main reason for Szymon Turcza-Jurczynski to come up with an idea to create a pan-European podcast group to report on current national and international affairs as well as their coverage by other media outlets. Szymon noticed the absence of a platform that compares the coverages of news around the world and provides a platform for their discussions. Being a passionate young journalist from Poland, he decided to fill in the gap in the media sector and is going to the M100 YEJ Workshop to find people with the similar understanding of media development in order to launch a joint media project.

Following the seven-day intense training, the selected participants of the M100 Young European Journalists Workshop will take part in the international media conference M100 Sanssouci Colloquium,  bringing together international thought leaders from the worlds of media, politics, and academia to assess the role and impact of the media in international affairs. In 2019, the conference “From Pipedream to Reality – Democracy & the European Public Sphere” will deal with the future of the European public sphere.

The M100YEJ is an initiative of the City of Potsdam and Potsdam Media International e.V.. It is supported by the Federal Press Office, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, and the National Endowment for Democracy. Cooperation Partners are the European Youth Press, heyfilm, MIZ Babelsberg, Telefonica, Orange Magazine and International Alumni Center.