M100 Sanssouci Colloquium starts tomorrow

Potsdam, 16 September 2020. Through a digital event held from Potsdam, nearly 100 experts from around the globe will meet tomorrow in high-profile discussion groups and develop strategies to protect journalism and a democratic public sphere. The Hungarian journalist Szabolcs Dull will be awarded the M100 Media Award in the evening. Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz will deliver the keynote address. EU Commission Vice President Věra Jourová will open the award ceremony. Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic will present the award. The award ceremony will be broadcast live on our website.

“NEUSTART: Shaping the Post-Covid Media Order” is the theme of this year’s M100 Sanssouci Colloquium, an international media conference being held for the first time as a digital conference. The conference will begin with remarks by Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies at Oxford University. The conference features roundtable discussions that will focus on how Europe’s media landscape can secure its long-term viability and address challenges such as fake news, the dominance of large platforms, financing difficulties and societal polarization. To be held in parallel, each roundtable will discuss these issues in terms of one of the following dimensions: economics, politics or society. Conference speakers include Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News, and political scientist and author Yascha Mounk. In a closing plenary discussion, “The Path Ahead,” which will begin with introductory remarks by the activist Cory Doctorow, the strategic implications of all roundtables will be summarized.

As part of the M100 Young European Journalists Workshop, which took place in the days leading up to the conference, participants at the workshop developed several scenarios for the European media landscape in 2030. These scenarios will be presented at the start of the colloquium and allow participants to focus on their strategic implications: What must take place to ensure that Europe features pluralistic, resilient information ecosystems and a strong, independent media landscape by 2030?

Following the conference, the ceremony for the presentation of the M100 Media Award will take place in the Raffael Hall of the Orangery Palace in Potsdam. The event will be streamed live on our website. The award honors efforts to protect the freedom of expression and deepen democracy, as well as outstanding achievements in promoting European understanding and communication. By awarding this prestigious prize to Hungarian journalist and former editor-in-chief of index.hu Szabolcs Dull, the M100 Advisory Board expresses its solidarity with Dull’s commitment to the fundamental right of press freedom and his struggle against external interference in editorial decision-making.

For the first time, a panel discussion will be held in conjunction with the awards ceremony, with the theme of “The End of World as we know it?” Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Russian-American author Masha Gessen, Swedish SVT Director Hanna Stjärne, author and Internet expert Marina Weisband and author John Kampfner will discuss issues relating to media and democracy in the pandemic era.

Interviews and contributions on individual conference topics such as the M100 Article Series or the M100 Special Talks with the Hong Kong activist Nathan Law or the Philippine journalist Maria Ressa are already available at M100 Conference Blog.

An initiative of Potsdam Media International e.V., M100 is held in conceptual cooperation with the Institute for Media and Communications Policy, and is primarily sponsored by the city of Potsdam. Additional support is provided by the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Press Office and the Land Brandenburg. Cooperation partners include the Stiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten, Reporters Without Borders and the German Newspaper Publishers Association (VDZ). Medienlabor serves as a sponsor. The conference’s media partner is rbb inforadio.