Difference Day is an annual BOZAR event coinciding with the UN’s World Press Freedom Day on the 3rd of May. The event critically examines freedom of the press as it exists today, while also paying homage to good journalism.
The underlying message is that we should speak freely and listen carefully, because a variety of opinions makes a difference. But, however special or important the diversity of human expression may be, confusion is what dominates today. Who - or what - decides what we read, watch or listen to? Who or what controls what we share or like? Is it money, social media, the journalist, a publisher, an algorithm or perhaps dopamine? Or something more abstract, like science or faith? Someone or something more tangible, like Donald Trump, or our friends? Perhaps, even, something more personal, like our own emotions, curiosity or frustrations, or our desire to know, understand and belong?
In these times of information overload and chaos, a public sphere in overdrive, junk and fake news, the matter of who controls the truth is of great significance. Among all this confusion and this tumultuous clamour, how do we distinguish the truth? In whom or what should we believe? Can journalists and the decent press turn the tide and restore trust between the people and the establishment? And if so, what will this entail? And will technology either be a help or a burden in all this?
10:30 – 12:30 Speakers Corner (Ravensteingalerij)
12:30 – 13:00 Registration
13:00 – 13:15 Welcome by Louise Haxthausen (UNESCO) (Hall M)
13:15 – 14:30 Stories, journalists & organisations making difference: Speaking truth to power (Hall M)
14:30 – 15:00 Coffee break
15:00 – 15:15 Europe and Freedom of Speech in the digital age by Claire Bury (European Commission) (Hall M)
15:15 – 16:30 New technologies and journalism – The place of humans in nowadays journalism (Hall M)
16:30 – 17:30 Doctor Honoris Causa VUB & ULB