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FOME Symposium 2018: The Silent Takeover – Media Capture in the 21st Century (Berlin, Germany)
November 22, 2018 @ 8:00 am - November 23, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
The 2018 FoME Symposium puts the complex triangle of “Politics – Private Interests – Media” at the centre of debate – observing that people in power often no longer need to openly exert their power over media in forms of censorship or force. Instead, supportive and subtle rather than repressive forms of political and business-related intervention in the media sector seem to become the method of choice. At the event, there will be a discussion around which factors foster what academic literature calls Media Capture, to what extent this expanding strategy influences democracy, pluralism and freedom of the press and how to prevent “The Silent Takeover” of the free media.
This takeover can have many different faces: media can be founded, owned, financed, supported and/or operated by actors with political interests. These interests often go along with economic benefits, and it is sometimes hard to grasp where political interests end and economic interests begin.
The mentioned triangle appears to exist everywhere. While the forms and degree of Media Capture observed in countries in transition and fragile states may seem more severe/pressing, even democratic countries with pluralistic media markets seem to face similar issues. One aspect remains the same: Media Capture is a problem as it involves the risk to affect and change political and social dynamics.
At the 2018 FoME Symposium, attendees will look at different forms of Media Capture from various angles. During the two-day program, there will be analysis of the different shapes this insidious process can take, assess its apparent consequences and discuss solutions in a number of sessions ranging from panel discussions to hands-on workshops.
For media development experts, one focus has to be: how can we criticize existing networks, raise awareness for potential threats for free media, and offer solutions through media development cooperation tools without taking the moral high ground?