On April 26, in room 3022, a video conference was held between students from MGIMO University and students from student-run think tank, the Wilberforce Society, Cambridge. It was the second time how students from MGIMO and Cambridge met with each other through video-conference. This interesting event was organized by FWD (Future World Diplomats), which is the only English-speaking student-led organization at MGIMO University. Its members hail from the School of Government and International Affairs.
The topic debated between students was «Censorship in the Press — A necessary evil?» Before starting the discussion, the speakers from both sides briefly introduced themselves and it was noticeable how diverse the nationalities of the students were. During the exchange of different perspectives on censorship, speakers could give the cases of their own countries, making the discussion more fruitful.
The speakers from MGIMO and Cambridge paid particular attention to the discussion of Germany’s handling of the incident of mass sexual assaults on women by migrants. The students exchanged their opinions about the consequences of the late publication of official news about this incident, and whether the German censorship can be justified in this case. After heated debate, students came to an agreement that it would have been better for German government to present the news earlier, in order to avoid the generalization of public opinion toward migrants and refugees.
Another issue to which students paid special attention was the attack on Charlie Hebdo. While discussing whether the complete freedom of press is dangerous or not, the students came to agree that it can be different for every country depending on the historical, cultural, religious background.
The students further discussed about what would be the main difference between social media and professional publication and both sides picked up the objectivity and legitimacy what make public news more reliable, and probably that this would be the main reason why it is debatable about the necessity of censorship in the press.
The video-conference successfully ended with grand applause to speakers of both sides. We would like to thank our partners from the Wilberforce Society, our wonderful speakers Faith Veneva, Lora Chkoniya, Ikmal Khanafiah and Aziz Shahid Junior as well as our moderator David Lee Smith for their outstanding performance. The Future World Diplomats continues to organize interesting video-conferences with top universities all around the world to discuss curious topics that require utmost attention in today’s world.
Future World Diplomats