Monika Griefahn, Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages a. D.

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Auf dieser Internetseite finden Sie Informationen über meine Arbeit als Bundestagsabgeordnete (1998 bis Oktober 2009)

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On this website you find information about my work as member of parliament (1998 - Oct. 2009)

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    23.10.2008

    Message of greeting to Alliance of European Press Councils


    ++ check against delivery ++

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    The principle of voluntary self-regulation is one of the most successful instruments in a democracy for fostering the diligence and responsibility which professional ethics demand. I am delighted that this principle has gained acceptance in many European countries, in particular regarding the press. There are three areas where the success of the work carried out is especially clear.

    Self-regulation by press councils primarily serves to ensure fair and honest reporting. In the longer term, however, it also has a positive influence on how the vital profession of journalism sees itself. And thirdly, it greatly benefits the reputation of the press, underpinning its importance and position in the democratic process.

    These advantages become particularly clear when comparisons are drawn with other media which have no or only limited mechanisms for self-regulation, including in other European countries.

    Nonetheless, the work of the press councils must from time to time be optimised and adapted to current developments.

    One example is the online sector. The German Press Council is in the process of extending self-regulation of journalistic content to cover the online sector. This is a positive and necessary step, and is warmly welcomed by the German Bundestag. We therefore plan to lend political support to this extension.

    I hope that in future other sectors will also come to accept that the principle of voluntary self-regulation does not impose restrictions on content; instead, it fosters greater responsibility in terms of professional ethics, and thus boosts the reputation of the sector concerned.

    With this in mind, I wish you a successful conference with positive outcomes, and hopefully also a few hours of free time to enjoy autumnal Berlin.

    Monika Griefahn