Political Reporting, Technology and the March of Time.

Veröffentlicht am Veröffentlicht in Göttingen Diplomat


For the past years, it has been our pleasure to supply you with a printed version of the the long-standing companion to this conference, the Göttingen Diplomat (or The Diplomat as it was known until 2016) and its sister publication the Daily Goose. They accompanied generations of delegates with daily news and gossip. However, the times of the printed conference paper are over in Göttingen for now. Henceforth, the outlet of our carefully produced and compiled material will be digital only.
The move to the online platform is the natural next step in the history of our paper and the news media as a whole. From its inception in the context of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, almost a hundred years ago, the genre of international conference journalism has united engaged journalists and early adopters of modern technology and its possibilities. Due to news leakages and the prevalence what was then called ‘false news’, the news reporting on the conference were not received positively at all, unnecessarily complicating the negotiation and most prominently contributing to the failure of the US congress to recognise
the authority of the League of Nations, which at president Wilson’s suggestion was founded as part the peace accords in 1919.
As a result, the concept of open diplomacy and its accessibility to the public via the press became central building blocks of the inter-war world order established with the League of Nations (and, by extension its successor, the United Nations).
Consequently, infrastructure was created early on in Geneva to enable the press to use various technologies such as the telegraph and the telephone, the ronograph (an early version of the photocopier) and the low-tech solution of bicycle messenger services between hotels and venues. Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s, radio and audio- and videographic recording facilities were added, always keeping the press up to date. Even later, during UN times, when television and, more recently, the internet entered the scene, up-to-date press reporting has not only been relevant to the international audience but, within the open diplomacy framework, essential to peace. Along with ‘moral disarmament’ and combatting ‘false’, ‘fake’ and ‘junk news’, the willingness of the news media to adopt ever new technologies and channels remains essential to the continuation and improvement of our global political order – from 1919 to 2018 and onward.