World Forum for Democracy 2019
Is democracy in danger in the information age?
Strasbourg, 6-8 November 2019
We all have our harps to play. And it's up to you to know with which ear you'll listen." Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
Information is changing. The volume, the content, the platforms: each of these has evolved beyond recognition in a short period of time. This evolution continues. Twenty-five years ago, most of our information came from print publications, television and radio. Today, these are complemented, rivalled and often eclipsed by websites, blogs and social media. Well-known outlets have been joined by a plethora of new sources – including millions of individuals – that spread news with the click of a share button.
The questions we must address in 2019 are to what extent the information is reliable, whether this helps or hinders citizens in taking part in democratic processes, and what lessons we should learn for ensuring the free flow of information in the future.
As E. Rosenbach and K. Mansted of Harvard University point out: "Democracy is built on the crucial compact that citizens will have access to reliable information and can use that information to participate in government, civic, and corporate decision-making.”