Since 2008, the DW Global Media Forum has provided a unique platform for media professionals and decision-makers from politics, civil society, culture, education, business, and science worldwide to come together and learn from each other. The German international broadcaster describes it as an intercultural exchange.

This year, another edition of the forum was held, attracting more than 1,500 participants from over 100 countries. From discussions about journalists’ safety to heated debates about the Israel-Hamas war, the forum had many highlights. Here are five of them.

1. Sharing Solutions: Best practices from around the world

For the forum’s organizers, it's a time of multiple crises for journalism, a situation that can overwhelm media professionals and lead them to quit. To ensure the future of the profession in the long term, various speakers from world media powerhouses, including CNN and the Washington Post, discussed the challenges faced by journalists and how to strategize and overcome them.

“From AI to journalist safety, from the climate crisis to war reporting, and from platform diversification to news fatigue, let’s explore existing initiatives from journalistic practices around the world. What solutions are already out there?” the pitch read.

The key takeaway was that journalism, like any profession, has its challenges, and journalists must plan and strategize consistently to overcome them.

2. Israel clashes with Hamas at the Forum

The October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas and other militant Islamist groups on Israel and the subsequent ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, marked by bloodshed, destruction, and famine, has polarised the world like no other armed conflict in recent history.

When the subject came up for discussion, this polarization played out strongly among the panel members and between a panel member and an audience participant.

The topic was: The struggle for objectivity, compassion, and the right words on the Middle East conflict. It featured journalists from CNN, the Washington Post, and DW.

The forum was lively. Panel members who made intelligent points often received loud applause. But for the first time during the forum, a participant who claimed to be an Israeli journalist challenged a comment by a panel member.

The panellist had claimed it was difficult for journalists to safely report from Gaza because of Israel’s stance that it “cannot guarantee the safety of journalists.”

But an Israeli participant who claimed to have been reporting from Gaza shouted, “it is a lie.” This part of the forum ended up discussing why the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, and Israel’s much-criticized invasion of Gaza were both considered acts of terror or genocide.

3. The moving piece of art about feminine struggles

As the second day of the conference began, attendees were intrigued by the sight of a statue-like object wrapped in ropes. Little did they know, a human being was concealed within.

Amid suspenseful music, the Kurdish Iranian artist and activist Sarina Panahideh slowly writhed free from the ropes that had bound her.

According to Panahideh, the display symbolised her personal struggles as a woman who had fled Iran and Iraq, where she constantly faced death threats for her work as an artist.

She relocated to Germany in 2023 to escape the threats against her life. “Being a woman by itself is a crime in such areas,” she said.

4. The Venue: A stunning architectural marvel of glass and steel

The City of Bonn offers a state-of-the-art conference centre directly on the Rhine.

The World Conference Center Bonn (WorldCCBonn) offers a versatile setting for congresses, conventions, conferences, concerts, and evening events of all types for up to 7,000 people.

A stunning architectural marvel of glass and steel, the WorldCCBonn is a modern masterpiece that captures the eye with its shimmering surfaces.

The interplay of transparency and reflection creates a dynamic visual experience. It blends strength and elegance!

5. The boat ride on the Rhine

The boat ride that crowns each edition of the Global Media Forum provides a perfect atmosphere to ease the tension and tiredness from the conference.

The three-hour evening cruise on the Rhine River aboard the Koln-Düsseldorfer was a memorable experience, offering breathtaking views of the historic cityscape, illuminated mountain castles, and serene vineyards that line the riverbanks.

Patrons are treated to a sumptuous buffet dinner accompanied by a diverse selection of music from around the world, creating a delightful and immersive cultural experience.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.