Premiere at the Golden Victoria award presentation: It was the first time that Verband Deutscher Zeitschriftenverleger (VDZ) [German Association of News Magazine Publishers] presented the award in the category “press freedom”. Not only did the publisher make the subject the centre of attention at the glamorous Publishers’ Night, but it also dedicated the entire two-day Publishers’ Summit to it. In her opening speech Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel spoke of the importance of quality and diversity in the media industry thus lending even more weight to the message. Held under the banner theme of “freedom, diversity, competition” the VDZ‘s annual publishers’ congress culminated in a glamorous Publishers’ Night. Just like in the previous years, Kontrapunkt proved to be a reliable partner when it came to realising the event at the beginning of November.

This year‘s VDZ Publishers’ Summit saw the big names of the German media landscape candidly address press freedom and how the digital age changes media use. On the podium of Berlin’s congress centre – bcc – chief editors Giovanni di Lorenzo (DIE ZEIT), Klaus Brinkbäumer (DER SPIEGEL), Patricia Riekel (Bunte), Christian Krug (Stern) and Marion Horn (BILD am Sonntag), among others, debated and concluded that media reporting required journalists not only to have a thorough understanding of the topic they were working on, but to show courage and the willingness to accept restrictions on personal freedom – something that should never be taken for granted.

By presenting the Golden Victoria to Peter Bandermann (Germany), Ana Lilia Pérez (Mexico) and Farida Nekzad (Afghanistan), VDZ honoured three journalists for precisely that kind of commitment in the fight for free speech in their countries. Kontrapunkt created the festive setting of the VDZ Publishers’ Night award ceremony at the atrium of Telekom’s Berlin representative office together with its partner agency, Beckoffice. Some 900 guests, among them the Chief of the German Chancellery Peter Altmaier, EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger, Journalist Daniela Schadt and former Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Rainer Brüderle took part in the gala and the subsequent after-party.