12th INTERNATIONAL AGENDA SETTING CONFERENCE, HOTEL PALACE,
LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND, 7TH - 9TH OCTOBER, 2011
Regaining Trust: A Matter of Getting the Facts right
Who remembers the pictures from Tunisia or Cairo earlier this year? 9 months ago the world seemed to come to a stand still – strong memories popped up and reactivated the feelings one had when the Wall came down in East Berlin back in November 1989. But in actuality, there was no stand still: to coin the term ‘Arab Spring’ was easy compared to the challenges the people in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Jordan, Syria, and Yemen are facing in order to digest what they have achieved and manage their future. Looking back to Spring 2011 the world was excited to see how little the experts had been right as they tried to convince the public, that freedom in Middle East would only let the fanatics take over.
“Getting the Facts Right” was the headline of the 2011 World Press Freedom Day celebrated at the UN on May 3rd. Yet it seemed more than just a headline. In May, one realized that the Arab Spring would continue for quite some time. But besides the ups and downs in the MENA region journalists, decision makers and ‘the people’ had not only to understand the daily news from Tripoli, Cairo and Amman. They also had to deal with a major tsunami only a few weeks before and realized how different their governments were responding to Fukushima disaster. Some changed the laws quicker than any parliament had seen before, while others acted differently. For those who tried to understand why Spain, France and the UK kept their policies on nuclear power the same whereas Germany and Switzerland changed theirs within weeks, it might help to take a look at how the national TV news covered the earthquake in Japan. Getting the facts right also means giving the full picture. Otherwise one might come to conclusions which would be taken different in the light of all details.
Getting the facts right would be helpful in 2011, a time in which the whole world remembers the deaths of 9/11 ten years ago – a less stereotype driven news selection might have helped to realize that the Muslim world is as diverse as any other part of the world. It might have helped as well to focus on real problems rather than putting a complete region under general suspicion.
We come together for our 12th International Agenda Setting Conference at the Hotel Palace in Lucerne on 7th - 9th October 2011, connected by a hope that quality remains key to regaining trust and sustainable success. We are privileged to have a similarly prestigious group of leading journalists, managers, politicians and scientists from around the world gathered in Switzerland to discuss the latest trends around media impact, and how to understand the effects of Agenda Setting in a constructive way.
Welcome to Lake Lucerne.
Welcome also to two intense days of data-driven debate on how and where media did progress.