Internet Governance Forum 2019 - Media coverage of our students

This week the Internet Governance Forum takes place in Berlin, from 25th to 29th November. The conference is organized by the United Nations and is held in Germany for the first time. Students of the master program Convergent Journalism are live on site and will report about the conference the whole week.

Internet Governance Forum in Berlin

Internet Governance Forum in Berlin

Keep up to date: This page will be updated regularly.





Day 5: Last talks, panel discussions and interviews at IGF 2019

Also, on the last day of this year’s Internet Governance Forum our students were on site and interviewed many experts of the Internet industry. They participated in a panel discussion which was led by Daniela Trucco (Unites Nations) and related to the difficulty of protecting children and adolescents from incriminating content.

Later the students talked with Mariana Valente (Director of InternetLab) about hostilities and hate speech attacks many journalists are faced with nowadays.

What exactly is Internet Governance? Throughout the week our students asked their interview partners this question. Here is a compilation of what the experts all said:

Day 4: Cyberfeminism, climate change and a first conclusion by IGF-participants

Social justice in the internet: The Association for Progressive Communication fights for these and many more issues. Our students talked with activist Hvale Vale about the organization’s goals and suggestions to make minorities and underrepresented population groups visible.

As well sustainability is one of the most essential subjects of our time. In another interview, Marianne Franklin (Goldsmiths, University of London) clarified the correlation between internet usage and the climate change. The internet has a more significant impact on our climate than every one of us would assume at first glance…

All the interesting and revealing workshops and panel discussions that our students were taking part in the last days let us forget one fact: that the conference draws to a close. What did the audience of IGF like most about it? Interchanging ideas and getting in contact with people from all over the world – these were only two answers that our students got during their survey in the conference rooms:

Tag 3: Hate Speech, Fake News and Artificial Intelligence

How will Artificial Intelligence change our society? And can it enable every individual and nation to gain access to the internet? On the third day of the Internet Governance Forum our students were dealing with these and many more questions. In the interview Sarbani Banerjee Belur of the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay talked about the importance of social participation. Her final demand: “Internet for all.” Yudhanjaya Wijeratne (Senior Researcher in the Big Data-Team of LIRNEasia) explained the mechanisms of hate speech and provided insights into his work.

While Felix Kartte (WEOG) emphasized how social media benefit from fake news, Max Senges (Google) discussed the idea of a free and borderless internet. In his opinion this ideal conception is in danger nowadays.

Paul Ash, director of National Cyber Policy Office in New Zealand, explained his concept of internet governance and how to tackle terrorist or violent extremist online content.

As on the day before again „Artificial Intelligence“ was one of the top topics of the conference: Even a robot was taking part at the panel discussion! After the event our master students interviewed Augusto Zampino of the Vatican who seemed to be quite open-minded towards modern technologies and artificial intellicence, also in the religious context:

Day 2: Opening ceremony and interviews with CEOs and other participants of the internet industry

The second day started with two highlights: Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel opened the  Internet Governance Forum officially. On the basis of the motto „One net, one world, one vision“ they talked in their speeches about the unity of the world wide web, inclusion and social participation in the digital information society.

We have to maintain sovereignty over the internet. Shutting off will lead to fragmentation: German Chancellor Angela Merkel @

— HMKW (@hmkwofficial) November 26, 2019

Furthermore our students interviewed Sasha Rubel (UNESCO) concerning the role of Artificial Intelligence in future journalism. As well they got into contact with Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond (UN) with whom they talked about discrimination and the fight against inequality in the world wide web. Göran Marby, CEO of ICANN, explained the growing importance of Internet Governance. Last but not least the issue Fake News came into focus: the young journalists asked Sebastian Bay (Senior Expert, NATO Stratcomms) about his current position towards this fundamental aspect of modern digital society.

Impressions of the opening ceremony:

Day 1: Let's get started!

What a exciting day full of new challenges and impressions! A wonderful start for our students of the master program Convergent Journalism. Today's focus was on the "Contract for the Internet" by Tim Berners Lee, founder of the Internet. Berners Lee presented several cornerstones of this social contract. For example he emphasized the importance of taking action against hate speech and fake news. Moreover he promoted to create new forms of online discourse. His final appeal to the audience: "Be thoughtful and positive about what you post, share and like."

 Impressions of the first day: