Book recommendation: Hella Pick “Invisible Walls”

12 December 2022. “Invisible Walls” (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), the impressive autobiography by M100 Doyenne Hella Pick, has now also been published in German: “Unsichtbare Mauern”. “The adventurous journey of one of the greatest female political journalists to the peaks and abysses of contemporary history”, writes the publishing Czernin Verlag.
In 1939, the eleven-year-old was sent to London by her Jewish mother on the Kindertransport. She became a journalist, travelled through Africa and went to Washington as a correspondent for the Guardian and was often a guest in Werner Höfer’s legendary Sunday talk show “Internationaler Frühschoppen”.

Hella Pick is a role model for all female journalists. Pick frequently found that she was the only woman in journalists’ rounds, often inadvertently causing a “political dilemma”. After-dinner, when the men and women traditionally gathered in single sex groups, no one knew what to do with, “a female journalist invited because of her profession”. But her professional reputation prevailed. She wrote about the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy’s assassination, travelled to Moscow with Richard Nixon, reported on the disintegration of the Soviet Union on the spot and made friends with Willy Brandt. But this book is not only a political and journalistic journey, it is also a personal one, in which the long-time friend and companion of M100 co-founder Lord Weidenfeld reveals a lot about herself. Absolutely recommended reading and as a gift!

“Hella Pick lived through, and reported on, many of the most seismic moments of the past fourscore years or so. Now she turns her exceptional reporting skills on herself – and the result is fascinating, moving, truly inspiring.” Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of the Guardian.

Piotr Drabik: Covering war more ethically

6 December 2022. “Russian invasion on Ukraine changed media landscape in most of European countries. About how deep this shift it was discussed more than 100 guests from 15 countries on Media and War conference in Rzeszów, 90 kilometers away from the Polish-Ukrainian border. Events organized by Outriders and Mixer Media concentrated to find answers to questions how more ethical covering war, what’s the most important needs for Ukrainian journalists and how verification news from the battlefields.

Ukrainian guests underlined problems with blackouts and internet connection, even mobile, after Russian strikes on critical infrastructures. Organizers also give a chance to explain hard situation in Belarusian independent outlets and how Russian migration after Putin’s mobilization change society in the Caucasus and Central Asia. In the face of new challenges, European solidarity could help a lot of independent journalists in crisis areas, the most guests said.”

Piotr Drabik works as a journalist at the private radio station Radio Zet in Warsaw. He is an M100 alumnus and moderated a panel on “Impact on Russian emigration to neighbouring countries” at the conference in Rzeszów.
The conference was organised by Mixer, a new organisation founded by M100 alumnus Jakub Górnicki, an investigative journalist from Poland. Jakub already founded Outriders five years ago, a non-profit newsroom that successfully reported on global issues with local impact – and for many years also organised workshops and projects to support other journalists. Both together have now become too much. From now on, events will be organised under the umbrella of Mixer, while Outriders will take care of the content.

New European News Platform

28 November 2022. Tim Kohnen, participant of this year’s M100 Young European Journalists Workshop, together with his colleague Julius E. O. Fintelmann has launched today the news platform The European Correspondent.

“The European Correspondent is a new kind of media organisation”, Tim and Julius say. “European at birth, we look beyond national borders to identify the challenges of our time. We believe that citizens across Europe need to be aware of the power dynamics, actions, and decision-making processes that drive this continent. Our team, consisting of journalists from all over Europe, deliver independent, fair, and in-depth reporting on the events that impact the everyday lives of those who live here. European journalism is an experiment”, Tim and Julius point out: “Together with our readers, we want to try out a diverse range of ideas and define what European journalism could and should look like. We are far from offering a final product – instead, we want to invite our readers to join us on this adventure.”

Independent news for and about Europe is more important than ever. That is why M100 supports this inspiring and courageous project by Tim, Julius and their team and wishes many readers and more supporters!

Summary of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium


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Hella Pick, Institute for Strategic Dialogue

“In these few hours, an extraordinary wide range of issues has been tackled by a similarly wide range of speakers,” said Hella Pick, doyenne of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium and a participant since the first edition in 2005, summing up the 18th M100 Sanssouci Colloquium. “The title of our conference is ‘War and Peace – A New World Order‘. That’s a broad brief, and I don’t think anyone expected a blueprint to emerge!
The reports of the Strategic Working Groups have already given all of us an overview of the discussions and the conclusions that have been reached. I am sure that all of us who came here today believe that the world, and specifically Europe has become a dangerous incendiary place. Even so it has been sobering to listen to expert analysis of the growing dangers to democracy; or learn more about the war in Ukraine and its repercussions for Europe and the wider world. And turning to our media world we always need to be reminded about the threat to free speech. But in that context, it was equally important to tackle Europe’s long-standing struggle to gain autonomy for itself in the digital battlefield.”
read more Summary of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium

Meera Selva: “One of the most moving Ceremonies I have witnessed”


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Potsdam, 28 October 2022. Meera Selva, CEO Internews Europe, UK, about the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium:
“It was so important to talk about the importance of journalism and the role that journalists play in fighting misinformation, but more importantly in creating a healthy information environment that benefits all of society and benefits democracy. We see this as a vital subject in Ukraine, across Europe, but also across the world. It’s a battle we are all fighting and it was very important that the conference discussed these issues in this setting.

The M100 Media Award given to the people of Ukraine is one of the most moving ceremonies I have witnessed to see the sacrifices and to see the effort and to see the conviction of what they are fighting for and why they are fighting, expressed on stage, was very beautiful to see.”

“The media industry needs to talk more openly about mental health”

by Denise Brechbühl

Denise Brechbühl is a freelance journalist from Switzerland. This year she participated in the M100 Young European Journalists Workshop in Berlin and Potsdam about disinformation, fake news and journalistic impartiality in times of war and crisis. In a side-kick, the 21 participants from 17 European countries also discussed the important issue of “mental health in journalism”.

Pictures of war on the photo desk, precarious working conditions, reporting in conflicted war zones – many journalists suffer from psychological stress. Often, they feel alone with it and one is more susceptible to mental illnesses such as depression or burnout or a reason for an increased number of absences. The media industry needs to talk more openly about mental health. At the M100 workshop, participants were able to discuss openly about it over the course of an afternoon.

read more “The media industry needs to talk more openly about mental health”

The Role of the Media: We need more Media Literacy

Potsdam, 26 October 2022. The Strategic Working Group III was dedicated to the topic “How we respond to information warfare: Can we reclaim information as a European public good?” and was moderated by Prof. Dr Alexandra Borchardt, senior journalist, book author, lecturer, media consultant and member of the M100 Advisory Board. She also presented the outcome of the discussion. The introductory impulses were given by Meera Selva, CEO for Internews Europe, UK, and Roman Badanin, founder and editor-in-chief of Proekt and of Agentstvo, an association of journalists targeted by the Russian government for their investigative reporting.

read more The Role of the Media: We need more Media Literacy

Europe in a new World Order: Desire for Reforms

Potsdam, 24 October 2022. The results of Strategic Working Group II “The Role of Europe in a New World Order” were presented by Dr Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Political Scientist, American Council on Germany & American University of Beirut. The working group was introduced by impulses from Dr Julia De Clerck-Sachsse, EU diplomat and researcher, visiting scholar GMF, and LTG (Ret) Ben Hodges, Senior Advisor, Human Rights First. The discussion emphasised that Europe is falling short of the role of the army and the military in becoming a fully-fledged world power. The question is how a new world order could be defined. What is a post-unitary world order with decentralised economic gravity that shifts from the Atlantic to the Pacific and does not translate into geopolitical power shifts?

read more Europe in a new World Order: Desire for Reforms

European Digital Strategic Autonomy: “China is not a model to follow”.

Potsdam, 21 October 2022. In the changing international security and economic landscape, the notions of ‘sovereignty’ and ‘autonomy’ have been acquiring an unprecedentedly central role in EU political and policy agendas. ‘Strategic autonomy’ has already become the dominant conceptual framework setting the EU’s long-term development. Another critical field is the digital domain, which is a lever for the fourth industrial revolution, while at the same time an international battlefield of its own.
The increasing digitalisation of our societies, affecting both private and public interests, is a major factor in shaping Europe’s future.

At the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium, Strategic Working Group I addressed the question of how the EU can develop a long-term Digital Strategic Autonomy (DSA) strategy to strengthen its position in the international digital domain of tomorrow, complement the security aspect of “strategic autonomy” and redefine its relations with allies and rivals.

The working group was introduced by impulses by Huberta von Voss, Managing Director ISD Germany, and Prof. Dr Paul Timmers from the Oxford Internet Institute. Dr Antonio Nestoras, Head of Policy & Research, European Liberal Forum, moderated the working group and summarised the results of the discussion.

read more European Digital Strategic Autonomy: “China is not a model to follow”.

Astrid Frohloff: “Platforms like M100 are more important than ever”


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Potsdam, 20 October 2022. Astrid Frohloff, German journalist, TV presenter and member of the M100 Advisory Board, about meaning and purpose of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium:
“I think it is more important than ever in these difficult times to create platforms to discuss and debate these very urgent issues. We need to find new ways, visions, strategies how to deal with these huge, immense problems we are facing now. I think the M100 forum is a wonderful platform where we are able to discuss and debate how to find ways out of the crisis and to find consensus about different perspectives, switch views and see what other people in Europe think about the situation and how to negotiate the way out of this.”