AHG April 28, 2022

Media freedom in a state of emergency: Roman Brodmann Prize and Colloquium

Promoting indepented, investigative journalism and media freedom

Free media and journalism are foundations of a resilient liberal, democratic society. For this reason, the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft supports as partner the Roman Brodmann Prize and Colloquium, which is organised by the Institute for Media and Communication Policy and the House of Documentary Film. The Roman Brodmann Prize promotes politically investigative and socially relevant journalism and honors documentary films. It will be awarded for the first time on 28 April 2022 during a full-day conference.

The war in Ukraine highlights the need for a free press and foreign reporting: where the propaganda war escalates and fake videos flood the internet, there is a need for investigative journalism that makes war crimes visible. But attacks on journalists reporting on the Russian attack on Ukraine, the tightening of censorship and repression against media professionals and draconian penalties on freedom of expression inside Russia threaten media freedom. And media freedom is in a state of emergency in other countries as well. Around the world, anti-libertarian and anti-democratic forces are cracking down on independent reporting.

With this in mind, the theme of this year's colloquium is ‘Media Freedom in a State of Emergency’. In the morning, the colloquium will discuss the situation in Ukraine itself as well as concrete support possibilities and strategies to promote media freedom. But it is also about critical voices from Russia or Belarus and the massive threat to opposition members in their own country. And finally, the colloquium will look at media in Germany and the question of how the necessary presence of independent journalists in war zones can be secured.

About the Roman Brodmann Prize

The Roman Brodmann Prize is endowed with 10,000 € and honours documentary films that are critical of the times and relevant to society. The award is named after the Swiss journalist and filmmaker Roman Brodmann (1920-1990). Together with fellow campaigners, he stands for the so-called "Stuttgart School", a group of authors who, from the 1960s onwards, made the SDR broadcast series "Zeichen der Zeit" (Signs of the Times) a milestone in West German television history.

The programme for the Roman Brodmann Colloquium can be found on the website of the Institute for Media and Communication Policy.

For further information, please contact Matthias Weber.