European Debate: Democracy and the Media

21 November 2010, 11 am
Debate in English and German language
Burgtheater, Dr. Karl Lueger-Ring 2, 1010 Vienna

Whatever we know about world affairs, we know it through the media. Be it 9/11, climate change or the financial crisis – we have watched it on TV, heard about it on the radio or read about it in the papers or on the internet. Watergate and wikileaks are just two examples of the media’s crucial role as a “watchdog” of those in power, a “fourth pillar” of democracy. But the media does not only inform, it also controls – and who controls them? Who decides what is news and what is not? And to what extent do advertisers and media tycoons influence public opinion?

The influence of the media on democracy, and of political and economic interests on the media, will be the subject of discussion for prime-rank experts from the fields of politics, science and the media on 21 November at the Burgtheater.

On the panel:
Bill Keller, Editor-in-chief The New York Times
Ezio Mauro, Editor-in-chief La Repubblica, Rome
Bodo Hombach, Executive director WAZ-Gruppe, Essen
Paul Starr, Pulitzer prize laureate, Professor for sociology at Princeton University, New Jersey

Moderator: Nicholas Lemann, Dean of the School of Journalism at Columbia University, New York City

The debate is part of a series in the run-up to the Polish EU presidency in 2011. The debate series is co-organised by the IWM and the dailies Corriere della Sera, Gazeta Wyborcza, Die Welt and Der Standard and will take place under the patronage of the Polish Ministry for Culture and National Heritage.

Tickets are available at the Burgtheater’s box office, phone +43(0)1 514 44 41 40, or online at