Reporting on international affairs and security policy in Europe is becoming a challenge these days. Over the past few years this complex matter has become increasingly difficult to understand for all actors involved: journalists, experts, politicians and consumers. Especially in foreign policy crisis situations it is not easy at all for journalists to get the facts right and come up with a balanced account of what has happened. The border between pure facts and opinion is becoming so blurry that consumers are often more puzzled than informed.
Whereas during the Cold War, Western reporting was very much focused on the East-West conflict and the threats on the part of the Soviet Union towards the West, now and for the last 25 years Western media has been much less concerned with Russia's threats and more with its economic weaknesses and political otherness. In the 1990s that was acceptable, but now with the resurgence of a self-proclaimed strong Russia, at least militarily, reporters have to rethink their approach.
On the other hand one observes are more and more aggressive reporting in Russia and other countries too, where opinion trumps facts. Unknown websites claim to know the ultimate truth based on very dubious sources. In these cases the motivation seems to be more self-righteousness than reporting based on facts.
News no longer come only from established media outlets in a few countries but from many new sources from many more countries. Also, one can observe a fierce competition over the interpretation of facts and perceived superiority in the information space. News is produced and distributed more quickly than ever. How can a journalist, or anyone else, still manage to check the facts and produce well-prepared journalistic work in such an environment?
In the context of this project, we want to face up to these challenges in the respective working realities and to discuss with journalists, experts, politicians and the consumer the different challenges facing the actors involved in security policy reporting. For this purpose, different formats for discussing these topics will be held in order to achieve a better understanding of the complex interactions among the different actors and ideally to come up with some innovative new approaches.