Amanpour’s ready to talk

Medienforum to host correspondent, Beckenbauer

BERLIN — CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour and soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer will be the keynote speakers at this year’s Berlin-Brandenburg Medienforum, running Aug. 31-Sept. 1.

Amanpour will open the confab with a discourse on “Global News: A Global Responsibility?”

Event is organized by the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg media subsidy office, the regional media watchdog org MABB and, this year, in cooperation with CNN, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

It will focus on issues including journalistic responsibility in today’s highly competitive news market, the impact of technology on news broadcasting and the international significance of Berlin, as well as the changing face of sports coverage.

Beckenbauer, who heads the organizing committee for soccer’s World Cup next year in Germany, will discuss “World Cup 2006 — The Dawn of a New Media Era?”

All the games for next year’s World Cup will be broadcast in HDTV for the first time.

The Medienforum will highlight the new challenges for digital technology and for broadcasters, which will have to prepare content for different media formats.

With the fate of tax-sheltering film funds looking precarious, the conference also is assembling industry reps and politicos for a discussion on the status of Germany as a location for the film industry and to sound out new film policy models for the future.

Also on hand for the forum, to be held at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, will be local players such as Georg Kofler, head of paybox Premiere; ZDF topper Markus Schaechter; Guillaume de Posch, CEO of ProSiebenSat 1; Anke Schaeferkordt, deputy managing director of RTL Television; Roger Schawinski, head of Sat 1; Torsten Rossmann, managing director of news channel N24; and Ferdinand Keyser, prexy-CEO of Luxembourg-based satcaster SES Astra.

The two-day confab leads into the IFA, the world’s largest consumer electronics trade fair, held biennially in Berlin and running Sept. 2-7.

The Medienforum and IFA trade fair are part of the weeklong Medienwoche Berlin-Brandenburg, which runs Aug. 31-Sept. 7. Umbrella event also includes sidebars such as the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium, which presents 100 figures from the European press industry in dialogue with reps from the fields of politics, culture, education and business, to be held Sept. 2-3 in Potsdam.

“In bringing together the Medienforum, the IFA and the print summit, we have a Media Week that does justice to the growing significance of the region,” said Medienboard topper Petra Mueller.

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