The media ends up in the crossfire and is vilified as "Lügenpresse", the lying press – these are not easy times for responsible journalism.
In today’s migratory society, the media has an important role: not only to illustrate the transformation in society, but also to contribute actively to shaping this transformation – in its reports and programmes, with commentaries and images. It is no simple task, especially when it comes to the heated topics of migration and integration. Once again in 2017, populists and agitators rely on fake news and “alternative” facts, particularly on these issues: with claims of an Islamisation of the West, the mandatory wearing of the burka by all women in Germany, or that refugees can vote in the General Elections.
As a media society, our young country of immigration, which for many years did not wish to be one, is being tested – as is the entire European Union: an open society, the established plurality of cultures, and a practised welcome culture are confronted by fear-ridden resentments, nationalist slogans and a contempt for democracy. The media ends up in the crossfire and is vilified as "Lügenpresse", the lying press – these are not easy times for responsible journalism.
Therefore, 30 years after its foundation at the initiative of the Federal Commission for Foreigners, Liselotte Funcke, the CIVIS Media Prize remains just as important as ever: The prize sensitises media professionals and journalists and encourages them to report on matters concerning the diversity of society – throughout 24 EU states and in Switzerland. And the prize calls for differentiation and understanding. Awarded annually since 1988, today it is the most important European media prize for integration and cultural diversity.
Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor
Commissioner of the Federal Government for Migration, Refugees and Integration