Media trust, virtual reality at Re:publica festival
13 May, 2017
Digital culture festival Re:publica, held annually in Berlin, started last Monday with a focus on media trust, fake news, and state attempts to control information, as well as virtual reality world’s mixing with the real one, news wires reported. Launching the event, already in its 11th year, co-founder Andreas Gebhard argued that people should not take freedom of speech and media for granted.
In the event's main opening session, journalists and activists from Turkey, Hungary, Egypt and Poland presented stories of media manipulation and state interference, telling the public of threats, press shutdowns, arrests and imprisonment. “It's not a problem only for the East – the West is experiencing the same kind of problems,” warned Turkish journalist Can Dundar, who was imprisoned following a story he published about Turkish President Erdogan's regime.
Hungarian journalist Marton Gergely, who worked for Hungary's largest political daily before it was shut down seven months ago, warned of “the pitfalls we did not notice in time”, such as the state's day-to-day battle against the media.
At another panel John Gaeta, who has helped create the special affects in the Matrix and Star Wars films, said that “we are on the verge of being able to step into virtual and 'mixed reality' worlds where we can interact with favourite film characters and discover new story lines.” He told the audience that ILM's xLab division is working to “translate worlds” from those you watch in the cinema “into worlds that you can walk into”.