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Sanssouci Colloquium
Media Prize
Youth Media Workshop
Offshoot Workshop

“Europe? Doesn’t interest me!“ – Youth, Media
and European Integration

Discussions about the EU constitution have shown that Europe is very much an important topic - however, it is hardly to be found in the media. It only seems to attract attention when there are scandals to report.

From 25th to 28th August 2005 25 young people attempted to get to the bottom of this phenomenon. The workshop formed part of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium in Potsdam. Top-class speakers and media experts assisted in approaching the issue. In four working groups they tried to analyse the problems of the youth media and looked for solutions. Andrea Seibel (Die Welt), Martin Klingst (Die Zeit) and Nico Fried (Süddeutsche Zeitung) gave in stimulating presentations an overview across the media world. Surrounded by journalists and other media representatives no question should remain unasked (and unanswered).

The following topics were discussed within the context of the Youth Media Workshop on 26/27 August 2005
in Potsdam.

topic 1:
Which kind of European topics are young people interested in?
topic 2:
What do (young) journalists need to know in order to report on European issues? How can they gain this knowledge?
topic 3:
Which kinds of media reach young people? Which media formats show promise?
topic 4:
Freedom of the press in danger – Where lie the problems? How can integrative standards be
achieved throughout Europe?


By Stefan Steinacker, Sarah Benecke, Christian Beilborn, Anne Spies

Europe is moving, its people are moving - especially young people. The experience of mobility beyond all borders is the most important common experience young people can make in the Europe of today. It is the freedom achieved by preceding generations, making it possible to go everywhere within the bounderies of the European Union. Other than this important experience young people in Europe are lacking a community of European youth culture because they do not form a historically shaped community of common experiences yet.

What has to be found is a common identification level beyond the abstract working level of European politics. Brussels has never been developed as a benchmark centre of interest for the younger generations in Europe.We need to perform the transitory step from a union of common experience and move towards a union of common communication and values. Not only the way how traditional media portray Europe has to be rethought. The development of a common European public and, as a next step, a common European identity opens the chance to establish new kinds and combinations of media that attract young readers, viewers and listeners from over 25 countries to the topics of life in the European Union. The most effective way of covering these topics is to transport them to the recipient with more than one kind of medium.

A successful combination of the abilities of online, print and television formats that provide a profound diversity of information could help to reach a vivid young mass of people from all 25 member states and more. But a number of other European states are missing the lively youth press culture that has developed in Germany. Sporadic engagement in school newspapers and youth magazines may exist an effective lobby, however, to give these young people a voice, is still missing. As a conclusion of our youth media workshop we propose to establish a network of young journalists all over Europe. Its framework should be a multifunctional internet platform from and for young people which contains tools to exchange information and get into contact with fellow journalists and newcomers. In addition, a European congress should take place twice a year where the young people can meet, learn from each other and discuss ongoing plans. These are, in our opinion, the most important basics for effectively creating a European public and identity - and what is more, for making young Europeans develop an interest in Europe.