Masterclasses @MTM19
21. October 2019
2. December 2019

Highlights of MEDIENTAGE 2019

Markus Söder opened MEDIENTAGE MÜNCHEN 2019 with a call to the media and a good portion of self-criticism: Bavaria’s Prime Minister called for media policy to react more quickly to technological developments. In line with the #MTM19 motto “Next digital level – Let´s build the media we want”, Söder recommended that providers urgently break new ground and actively shape the media landscape of the future: “If there is a wave, you have to ride it and not wait for others to do it. Above all, since large US digital companies have penetrated wide areas of the classical media.  

Markus Söder at #MTM19.

Markus Söder at #MTM19.

The idea of the European platform

Siegfried Schneider, President of the Bayerische Landeszentrale für neue Medien (BLM), took up the idea of a “strong common platform” of European media providers. In his welcoming address, he advocated the creation of a “media and culture platform”. Bavaria’s media minister Dr. Florian Herrmann deepened this idea at the BLM‘s and EMR‘s Europe Day. He proposed the rapid creation of mechanisms that would promote the economic development of the media while at the same time preventing one-sided power of opinion through algorithms and artificial intelligence. “I am thinking here above all of the regulation of platforms that have so far only assigned content to certain categories and not into contexts,” said Herrmann. A cross-media cultural and media platform shaped by Europe could strengthen democracy as a whole.

Dr. Florian Herrmann.

Dr. Florian Herrmann.

Zeynep Tufekci saw the risks described by Media Minister Herrmann above all in young target groups who, for example, use Google‘s video platform YouTube to search for information. In her keynote speech at MEDIENTAGEN 2019, the critical US technology sociologist asked the question: Can we justify the fact that the knowledge base for public discourse will in future be determined solely by algorithms based on vast amounts of data and machine learning? Tufekci by no means wants to ban social platforms from our everyday lives. In Munich, however, she also called for alternatives to be created in order to protect the private sphere and to enable an exchange of knowledge at the same level.

Zeynep Tufekci.

Zeynep Tufekci.

Prof. Dr. Julian Nida-Rümelin, philosopher, author and retired minister of state, also took the same approach. He gave a lecture on ethical aspects of communication in the digital world at MEDIENTAGE. “We need a public Google.” After all, it is the first time in the history of industrialization that “we have allowed infrastructure and technical development to be shaped almost exclusively by commerce and to be in the hands of a few large corporations”.

What to do about Hate Speech?

One thing is clear: hatred blossoms on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Co. At #MTM19, the discussion about Hate Speech – and the danger that digital hatred can lead to analog violence – took up a lot of space. The fear of hate comments also prevents many politicians from becoming active on the Social Web. The leader of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group in the Bavarian state parliament, Katharina Schulze, argued that the online sector should be handled in the same way as real life. Previously, BLM and the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice had launched the initiative “Justice and media – consistently against hatred“. The project now enables efficient prosecution of perpetrators. The Federal Cabinet is also taking stronger action against net hatred, and a corresponding package has been agreed.

Also in the current truth and knowledge crisis disinformation is a dangerous phenomenon, which costs again and again also human lives, warned Professor Dr. Bernhard Pörksen in a lecture. The scientist called for platform advisory boards to be installed and for companies to be committed to transparency. On the way from the digital to the editorial world, the maxims of good journalism should also apply.

The social networks and their users learn, as the Social Media Track presented by Facebook showed: Not short dramatic stagings seem to be in demand, but stories that are integrated in a credible concept and maintained in long-term projects. In addition, young people are politically interested, but can no longer be reached with established media. Tilo Jung, editor-in-chief of the YouTube format Jung & Naiv, stated: “The young generation is not politically disgruntled, but politician disgruntled.

What moves content providers

The content providers generally have to position themselves against the large digital competition from the USA. At the TV summit, the responsible producer James Farrell revealed the further growth strategy for the giant Amazon Prime: The streaming platform concentrates international efforts on formats and content that are not yet offered in the respective countries.

The MTM participants from the television industry were nevertheless optimistic. The CEO of Vox, Sascha Schwingel, for example, emphasized: “Never before has it been possible to implement content so consistently. But the run on the moving picture market attracts further players. Among them is also the US investor KKR, which stands behind the again formed content giant Leonine under the guidance of the experienced TV manager Fred Kogel.

The various expansion plans are fed by the changed viewer behavior. As part of MEDIENTAGE, the media companies presented the current Video 2019 digitisation report. It also confirmed a clear shift away from the use of classic television towards Video on Demand (VoD).

Hearing trends

Amazon also occupied the audio and radio industry at the 33rd MEDIENTAGE. Alexa and the growing number of voice-controlled assistants prefer to present their own content when selecting content tailored to the listener’s wishes, which puts radio programmes at a disadvantage. Although German audio experts criticize this development, participants in the @MTM19 audio summit continue to forecast high growth rates and rising demand in a wide variety of target groups for all forms of audio productions.

Audio Summit @MTM19.

Audio Summit @MTM19.

According to Steve Boom, Global Vice President of Amazon Music, also due to new devices and playback possibilities as well as developments around the setting “car”. He advised the traditional providers: “Radio stations must learn to work with new technologies and harmonize their unique selling points such as location with them.

Exciting finale of the #MTM19

The three-day conference ended with Juan Moreno. The Spiegel reporter had suspiciously questioned the work of his former colleague Claas Relotius and exposed him as an “ingenious liar”.

Juan Moreno with Richard Gutjahr.

Juan Moreno with Richard Gutjahr.

When Moreno appeared on Friday afternoon at the Main Stage of #MTM19 for an interview with Richard Gutjahr, it was clear that Relotius was trying to proceed with an injunction against Moreno’s book “A Thousand Lines of Lie”.

Moreno defended his research in the “Relotius case” at MEDIENTAGEN. The Spiegel reporter also stressed that it was wrong to regard journalism as a system of manipulation. Nevertheless, the rivalry for great stories is not conducive to the most objective reporting possible. And of course it is absurd to exclude lies and mistakes by journalists in general.

Here you will find all press releases from MEDIENTAGEN. Photos of the individual panels are available in the programme and impressions are also available in the media library – of course also from the Night of the Media. The #MTM19 review can be found in our Storytile live blog.