Review of the M100 Young European Journalists Workshop 2021

“Reporting in Crises and the Crisis in Reporting” was the title of this year’s M100 Young European Journalists Workshop (M100YEJ), which took place online in three modules between 10 September and 2 October.

The aim of the workshop was to shed light on the craft and challenges of journalistic work in times of crisis. Alternating between practical inputs and theoretical reflection, the participants discussed the causes of current crisis phenomena as well as possible approaches and strategies for a resilient journalism in the service of democracy, successful both economically and in terms of content.

We would like to thank the workshop leaders Edith Michaeler and Leonard Novy as well as our keynote speakers Wolfgang Blau, Mathias Müller von Blumencron, Roland Schatz, Alex Sängerlaub, Sham Jaff and Brigitte Alfter. And Campus Caprea/Robert Zimmermann for the wonderful film!

The seminar, held in cooperation between the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium and the IfM, was funded by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy.

For a detailed summary please click here.

Review of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium 2021

Potsdam, 16 October 2021. With interesting speeches by Benjamin H. Bratton and Andreas Reckwitz, lively discussions with diverse views and perspectives within the digital Strategic Roundtable Discussions and an exciting Special Talk with Can Dündar, Claudia Major and Saad Mohseni on “The Totalitarian Temptation”, we have covered a wide range of topics and highlighted various aspects and approaches to the issue at this year’s M100 Sanssouci Colloquium on 6 October. The day ended on a politically topical and emotional note with the presentation of the M100 Media Award to Alexei Navalny, accepted by his close confidant Leonid Volkov and lauded by Christian Lindner.

Please find below an overview of the individual parts of the Colloquium, including the M100 Young European Journalists Workshop, with links to detailed summaries and the complete speeches.

read more Review of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium 2021

“Democracy cannot be taken for granted, we have to fight for it”

Summary of the Special Talk “The Totalitarian Temptation”

On 6 October 2021, Saad Mohseni (Afghan-Australian media entrepreneur and co-founder and chairman of the MOBY Group), Dr Claudia Major (Head of the International Security Department at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs SWP), and Dr Can Dündar (top Turkish journalist and editor-in-chief of Özgurüz) discussed the state and future of democracy at the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium. Moderated by the international TV presenter Ali Aslan, the panel analysed in particular the rise of totalitarian regimes and the mistakes Western governments have made in dealing with Afghanistan, Turkey, the Middle East and also Africa and China in their attempts to export democracy.

In 2002, Saad Mohseni established the Moby Group, the first private, independent media company in post-Taliban Afghanistan, where women also work as journalists and presenters. He thus helped shape the country’s development into a democracy for almost 20 years and has now experienced the erosion of progress by the Taliban at first hand. He was in Afghanistan for the last time at the end of July.
Mohseni, whose station and its 400 staff are still active in Afghanistan, stressed that the last few years had not been in vain in view of the current situation. Unlike in the mid-1990s, when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, this time around, women demonstrated in the streets for their rights, civil society actors initiated campaigns for girls’ education and the Taliban had to have discussions with women and civil society on television. This was unthinkable 20 or 30 years ago and of course has something to do with the education system, which has also given girls access to schools and universities.
But an erosion of democracy has not only been seen in Afghanistan, but also in educated Western societies around the world, including in Europe, where illiberal democracies have taken hold, not least in Poland and Hungary.

read more “Democracy cannot be taken for granted, we have to fight for it”

Summary of the Strategic Roundtables

The M100 Sanssouci Colloquium started with three parallel Strategic Roundtable discussions on the digital platform Zoom, introduced by an opening speech by Benjamin H. Bratton, Professor of Fine Arts, University of California, USA, on “The Revenge of the Real: Politics for a Post-Pandemic World” (the speech is avaiable as text and video here).

Leonard Novy

After a lively and concentrated one-hour-discussion, the three moderators presented the results of the roundtable discussions, moderated by Dr Leonard Novy, M100 Board member and director of the Institute for Media and Communication Policy in Cologne, Germany (The recording is available here on our YouTube channel). [1]

The first presenter was Annalisa Piras, journalist, filmmaker & managing director of the Wake Up Foundation. She summarised the Strategic Roundtable “New beginnings: Leadership in (post-)Covid times”, which had been introduced by an impulse by Alberto Alemanno, Jean-Monnet-Professor of European Union Law & Policy, HEC Paris, France:

read more Summary of the Strategic Roundtables

“Democratic resilience has not only been playing a role since the coronavirus pandemic.”

”Democratic resilience has not only been playing a role since the coronavirus pandemic. In an increasingly fragmented society, the issue of strengthening the value of community is once again more important than ever if we do not want to watch our society atomise into a horde of individualists.

For me, democratic resilience is the ability of a community to repeatedly accept democracy, supported by the majority of society and legitimized in the democratic debate as a form of society, state and life, in situations of social and political crisis and transformation, and to defend this fundamental value of a pluralistic society.“

Mike Schubert, Lord Mayor of the State Capital Potsdam

The whole speech is available here.

“Fight for your democratic Rights and have Courage”

I am convinced that with these and other measures, with courage like Alexei Navalny and his comrades-in-arms have shown, the change of rule, the change of statehood from within is possible”, said FDP Federal Chairman Christian Lindner in his laudation on the occasion of the presentation of the M100 Media Award to Alexei Nawalny and his anti-corruption foundation FBK on 6 October 2021 in the Palace Theatre of the New Palace in Potsdam. “Alexei Navalny himself says: ‘Fight for your democratic rights and have courage'”, Lindner continoused.

“I am convinced the pursuit of freedom is always stronger than power and oppression in the long run. For liberal democracies, democratic opposition should remain a natural partner everywhere in the world, not only in Russia, but we should take the concerns of the people in Hong Kong equally seriously and not take our eyes off the situation in Belarus. We share the basic values of democracy, the rule of law and freedom with this opposition worldwide. Germany and Europe need a foreign policy that wisely combines the interests in dialogue, trade, exchange, and cooperation that we all share with our own indispensable values.”

The whole speech is available here.

“Through journalism, Navalny has become what he is”

“I’m proud to accept the M100 Media Award not only on Alexei’s behalf, but on behalf of the whole team — several hundred young (well, mostly young) people, not only in Moscow but all over Russia’s eleven time zones, from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok, who were campaigning for Alexey and with Alexey, running in local elections, supporting local activism, investigating their local thiefs and crooks, inspired by Alexey Navalny”, said Leonid Volkov on the occasion of the presentation of the M100 Media Award to Alexei Nawalny and his anti-corruption foundation FBK, which he received on the evening of 6 October 2021 in place of the imprisoned opposition leader from the hands of Potsdam’s Lord Mayor Mike Schubert and Christian Lindner, Party leader of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), in the Palace Theatre of the Neues Palais in Potsdam. “And they continue. We continue. We are not defeated; in fact, we are as sure we’ll overcome as we never were before. And then there is a second important thing, which comes along with this award only. This is a Press Prize, awarded for journalism. Alexey Navalny is a politician, who was running for Mayor of Moscow and for President of Russia; he’s a freedom fighter, who was poisoned and jailed; a party leader, who has built a strong political force, which just won over a hundred seats in regional elections. But, indeed, his main lifetime achievement, the Anti-Corruption Foundation, is first of all things a body of investigative journalism.

It is through journalism, through written and oral word, through telling stories, how Alexey Navalny became who he is, Putin’s main rival and Enemy of the State number one. And in this capability he actually shares the fate of so many journalists all over the world being prosecuted for telling the truth.”

Please read the entire speech here.

“The Fight for Human Rights begins with the Elimination of Corruption”

Potsdam, 7 October 2021. With the presentation of the M100 Media Award to Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his anti-corruption foundation FBK, the international media conference M100 Sanssouci Colloquium came to a glittering and moving conclusion last night at the Palace Theatre in the Neues Palais. Instead of the imprisoned Navalny, his campaign manager and close confidant Leonid Volkov accepted the award, which was presented to him by Potsdam’s Lord Mayor Mike Schubert. The laudation was given by FDP leader Christian Lindner, who, in the midst of exciting coalition negotiations, took the time to give the central political speech of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium for the second time since 2018.
Under the title “From Crisis in Perpetuity to Democratic Resilience”, around 80 international representatives from the media, politics and academia had previously discussed in a virtual format the challenges currently facing politics, society, academia and the media and how the resilience of democracy can be strengthened.

read more “The Fight for Human Rights begins with the Elimination of Corruption”

Two days to go! M100 Sanssouci Colloquium and presentation of the M100 Media Award to Alexei Navalny

Potsdam, 4 October 2021. In two days, on Wednesday 6 October, around 100 international representatives from the media, politics and academia will discuss the challenges facing media and democracy in a time of seemingly “perpetual crises” and how they deal with this responsibility.
The M100 Sanssouci Colloquium invites to the digital media conference under the heading “From Crisis in Perpetuity to Democratic Resilience” (02.00 p.m. – 04.15 p.m. CET).
Afterwards, “The totalitarian Temptation” will be discussed at a Special Talk in the Schlosstheater at Neues Palais (05.00 p.m. – 06.15 p.m. CET).
Subsequently, the M100 Media Award will be presented to the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and his anti-corruption foundation FBK (06.30 p.m. – 07.30 p.m. CET).

read more Two days to go! M100 Sanssouci Colloquium and presentation of the M100 Media Award to Alexei Navalny

M100 Board Member Stephan-Andreas Casdorff on Navalny as this year’s M100 Awardee

M100 Board Member Stephan-Andreas Casdorff, Publisher of Der Tagesspiegel on this year’s M100 Awardee:

”Alexei Navalny, this year’s award winner – who else? After all, everything is on the line: defending freedom of expression, democratic values in general, which include an independent opposition, fair judicial procedures and the right to exercise basic human rights. Yes indeed, and Alexei Navalny, because he has become a symbol: for almost 400 political prisoners in Russia, for murdered politicians and journalists and for the struggle against increasing autocracy in Europe.”