Eigth edition of the Author-Publisher Dialogues

The 8th edition of the Author-Publisher Dialogues was organised by FEP on 11th September 2018 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, under the sponsorship of MEP Pervenche Berès, co-chair of the Culture and creation Industries Intergroup.

The event was also attended by other Members of the European Parliament:
the Germans Christian Ehler (CDU), co-chair of the Culture and creation Industries Intergroup, Petra Kammerevert (S&D), chair of the Committee on culture and education, and Helga Trupel (Greens), the Greek Georgios Grammatikakis (Greece, S&D), and the Italians socialists Luigi Morgano, Silvia Costa, Mercedes Bresso, Elena Gentile and Patrizia Toia.

Petra Kammerevert and Pervenche Berès emphasised on the stumbling blocks that are newspaper publishers’ right and the responsibility of platforms in the copyright directive. According to Silvia Costa, these questions are stakes for “democracy, freedom of expression and the European model”.

During the first dialogue, the German author Georg Klein shared his experience, saying that “if people ask him if he’s writing a book, he replies that he’s writing a text and that he wouldn’t be able to create a book”: “my creativity is not enough, I need a catalyst, that is set up beforehand, through interviews. His editor, Peter Kraus Vom Cleff (Rowolt) explained that” everything is done within the framework of a dialogue” or even through “a symbiosis”. Georg Klein mentioned the "pleasure of creating a beautiful book" and the "work of the publishing house to convey this madness and to promote the book to the public." Peter Kraus vom Cleff reminded how important it is "that people can continue to live off their creation for European culture and identity".

During the second dialogue, Pierre Dutilleul introduced Sammy Ketz, the director of the AFP office in Baghdad and author of the platform that defends the rights of press publishers, by reprising a quote of his: “copyright, a matter of life and death”. Christine Buhagiar, European Director of AFP, highlighted the investments of the press to develop online, but also “the loss of revenues of this branch due to the decrease of subscriptions and of advertising revenues”, 80% of the latter being captured by Google and Facebook. Similarly, Sammy Ketz observed that there are fewer journalists on the field. Pierre Dutilleul emphasised the verification work of journalists’ information such as Sammy Ketz. The latter acknowledged seeing "fake news" on a daily basis, and presented his activity as being more like the one of "Sherlock Holmes than Albert London". Christine Buhagiar explained that journalists are now being trained on "fake news", which is expensive. Similarly, according to Sammy Ketz, "AFP would not exist without a Baghdad’s office. It’s important to tell what’s going on". For example, the United States have seen a reduction in the number of their journalists from 71,000 to 34,000. Christine Buhagiar called for sharing this value "so that the media do not live off public subsidies", and so in the name of democracy.

In conclusion, Helga Truepel called to change our messages and to form a link between freedom of expression, put forward by our opponents, and the notion of responsibility.