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Minister of State Bernd Neumann: the culture of public communication must be preserved

Bernd Neumann, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, and Minister-President Kurt Beck, Chair of the Broadcasting Commission of the Laender, opened a media conference today in Leipzig within the framework of the German EU presidency. The two-day conference deals with the subject of “More trust in content - the potential of co- and self-regulation in the digital media“.

In his opening speech, Commissioner Bernd Neumann said: “The cooperation between the state and media industry must be driven by the intention of combining the principle of trust in the competence of content providers with adequate forms of co- and self-regulation. The aim should be to encourage creativity on the part of the user, ensuring that the agreed basic values are observed and the competitiveness of companies is underpinned.

In Europe traditional media have developed a culture of public communication which must be preserved at all costs. The print media in particular have set standards as regards journalististic duty of care and respectability. These requirements of the media do not change even if they make use of other means of transmission and other communication technologies or if the number of offerings has increased.

There must be no doubt that first and foremost the media product providers themselves are responsible for ensuring these requirements are met and that no laws are violated.“

The experts’ conference on European media policy in Leipzig is held at the invitation of Minister of State Bernd Neumann together with the European Commission. In four working groups, around 250 media experts from all corners of the European Union are investigating inter alia self- and co-regulation models or possibilities for promoting offerings of content suitable for children, to name just one example.

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Date: 15.05.2007