Freedom for the truth

1st Hamburg Freedom of the Press Week from September 11 to 16, 2023
Under the motto “Freedom for the Truth”, the 1st Hamburg Freedom of the Press Week kicked off on 11 September 2023 with a diverse program on the topic of freedom of the press and information in Germany and worldwide. Initiated by the Körber Foundation and the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, the week of action shook things up with discussions, events, exhibitions and workshops. Partners include the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR Info) and Netzwerk Recherche. The aim of the 1st Hamburg Freedom of the Press Week was to raise awareness in Hamburg’s urban society – and beyond – of the importance of free reporting and freedom of opinion for our democracy and for our free, liberal society.

Guests include international experts and exiled journalists
Prominent international guests such as Turkish journalist Can Dündar and ZEIT’s China correspondent Xifan Yang took part in discussions in various formats. In addition, independent reporters from Ukraine, Russian journalists in exile and media professionals from Afghanistan, Iran and other crisis regions reported on personal experiences and violent repression and discussed the fight for independent reporting with German journalists.

Dr. Lothar Dittmer, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Körber Foundation: “Freedom of the press and democracy belong together. The Körber Foundation is involved in numerous projects for people who stand up for democratic rights and values. With our work on exile journalism, for example, we specifically support journalists who stand up for press freedom in exile in Germany. We see Press Freedom Week, which we initiated together with the ZEIT Foundation, as a contribution to highlighting the special value of press freedom for a free democracy and open society.”

One-week program with workshops, exhibitions, conferences, award ceremony and reporter slam

The 1st Hamburg Week of Press Freedom kicked off on Monday, September 11, 2023, with a live broadcast by NDR followed by the “NDR Info News Fair” with workshops and workshop discussions for journalists. The Nobel Peace Prize winner and renowned Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov was also a guest. In the evening, a Senate reception was held in Hamburg City Hall with a panel discussion with international journalists in exile. With the “Exile Media Forum” on Tuesday and the “Young Exile Media Forum” on Wednesday, the Körber Foundation organized Germany’s largest specialist conference for exiled journalists. The ZEIT-Stiftung and the Norwegian foundation Fritt Ord strengthened independent journalists in Eastern Europe and their reporting with the “Free Media Awards Conference” on Wednesday and the “Free Media Awards 2023” on Thursday.

Other highlights included the exhibition by war reporter Lee Miller at the Bucerius Kunst Forum and the opening of the World Press Photo Award exhibition at the Altonaer Museum. The events were complemented by a large number of workshops with journalists from Germany and around the world on practical knowledge and strategies for more press freedom, for example at the NDR Info NewsFair or the Reporter:innen-Workshop 2023 at SPIEGEL.

Events for the interested public included the “House of Commons Debate”, an event by RiffReporter with audience participation and an event by Netzwerk Recherche, Neue deutsche Medienmacher:innen and Bücherhallen Hamburg in the Central Library. Workshops by Salon5, Correctiv’s youth editorial team, were aimed specifically at young people. On Saturday, there was also a reporter slam supported by the Rudolf Augstein Foundation.

Further information on the initiative, the partners and a continuously updated program can be found on the central website of the action week at