Media conference 2015: Translating Worlds

Media makes the world go round. The media plays a key role in defining what we say to each other, what we know about each other and how we talk and interact with one another, particularly when it comes to conflicts like those in Ukraine, Syria, Gaza and elsewhere. But it's not only then.

In a world where everything is interconnected, foreign reporting has become increasingly important. The more our trust in established media outlets fades, the more important it becomes for those doing the reporting to reflect upon how our image of the world is created – and their own role in this process.

This image is not neutral. Rather, it is carefully selected: Some elements are left out, while others are enhanced. If reporting is the subjective transfer of one reality to another, then when it comes to reporting on foreign affairs – when complex global events are condensed into media reports and transferred from one cultural context to another – the process becomes even more exaggerated.

Who tells the story? Who decides what is important and when it's important – globally or locally? Who decides where the center of a story lies and what details remain on the periphery? What happens when perspectives are combined? Which formats are best for what stories? And which types of stories generate a certain response?

In short: What image of the world does the media portray; who conveys this image, and how; and what can journalism learn from other disciplines, such as translation, theater and media sciences?

To find the answers to these questions and more, the 2015 n-ost Media Conference brought together approximately 120 correspondents and editors from the EU, the countries of the Eastern Partnership and other post-Soviet states for two and a half days in Berlin in order to discuss, reflect, raise questions and debate.

In hands-on workshops, theoretical discussions and dialogues – and with the aid of related disciplines such as art, theatre, translation, intercultural communications and media theory – the conference investigated, compared and discussed how collaborative reporting works with regard to structure, content and impact within differing (media) societies.