10:00 – 12:00 November, 26

Kirov Culture Center, Festival Hall, 1st floor


Is journalism in a state of emergency?

That is the question up for debate at this year’s Media Forum. Moderator is the Russian TV journalist Valery Gamza from Murmansk and Moscow. We want to touch on a topic of current interest both in the East and in the West. While federal and political power structures control more and more of Russian media, economic cuts and mass layoffs are brutal realities for many of the most influential media in the whole of the western world. A large number of journalists are leaving their profession only to seek positions as media consultants for public and private institutions, where the policy is often not to uncover, but rather to conceal the truth.

What are consequences of this to independent and critical journalism? For decades the political pressure on media and journalists has never been stronger, and the propaganda mechanisms have come round again. Should not the editorial offices be strengthened as a counterweight to this influence? Should not the position of journalists with strong integrity and high ethical standards be strengthened, to safeguard transparency and the free word?



TV journalist

JAN-MORTEN BJØRNBAKK has worked since 1997 as a correspondent in Tromsø for the nationwide Norwegian news agency NTB, covering the northern parts of Norway and international relations in the Barents- and Arctic regions. He is also a board member in the SKUP-foundation, which is dedicated to promoting investigative journalism in Norway. Bjørnbakk is a former leader of the Norwegian Journalist Union in the county of Troms.


GEIR TERJE RUUD, Denmark/Norway, is an international media consultant, based in Oslo. He now works in several countries with media companies that are looking for the digital future of journalism. He is also the head of Oslo Media House, a hub for media development.
TIMO SIPOLA, Finland. Works as a reporter with the Finnish broadcasting company, YLE. Board member of Barents Press International. Active in journalism and cooperation of journalists in the Barents Region since 1990.
MAGNUS WAHLBERG, Sweden, Magnus has worked the last decade in the newspaper and broadcast industries, posessing experience from both the journalistic and commercial side of the businesses. Has a focus on digitalization and development of new models of content and revenue. He currently works as head of the online video department at VK Media (a media group in Northern Sweden).

VERONIKA SELIVERSTOVA, Russia. Studied at Russian State Pedagogical University in St Petersburg, PR-specialist. Came to journalism from marketing in 2007. Worked in the news agencies “Komsomolskaya Pravda” and “Interfax”. Since July, 2016 she works as editor-in-chief in the re-emerged newspaper “Polyarnaya Pravda”.