In honor of World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2018, the Austrian Cultural Forum Washington and the Press and Information Service of the Embassy of Austria hosted a panel discussion entitled Freedom of the Press: Still the 4th estate? featuring Washington-based reporters Paul Farhi (The Washington Post), Evan McMorris-Santoro (Vice News) and John Walcott (Reuters), as well as Hannelore Veit (ORF - Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) and Eric Frey (Der Standard) from Austria.
The panel, moderated by Ms. Veit, aimed to assess the role of the media as a watchdog on both sides of the Atlantic. It was introduced by a presentation on the reach of U.S. news media and the divide among audiences, given by Katerina Matsa from the Pew Research Center. One of the take-aways of the event was the pivotal role of media literacy and critical thinking in the age of so-called "fake news" media.
The panel was the inaugural event of the Salon Series (Salongespräche) of the Austrian Cultural Forum Washington and also part of this year’s celebrations of the 180th anniversary of Austrian-American Diplomatic Relations, the 70th anniversary of the Austrian Press and Information Service, the Commemorative Year 2018 (i.a. 100 years of the Republic of Austria’s founding post WWI), and the upcoming Austrian EU-Presidency in the second half of 2018.