For the Record

Dean Wright on Ethics, Innovation and Values

The fall of the Wall–and the media’s role


dean-150Dean Wright is Global Editor, Ethics, Innovation and News Standards. Any opinions are his own.

It was 20 years ago that the Berlin Wall, the most iconic symbol of the Cold War, fell, on Nov. 9, 1989.

In recent days, there have been a number of commemorations of the event and news organizations around the world have taken note of what was one of the most important stories of the latter half of the 20th century.

I had the privilege of attending and speaking at one Berlin event organized by Google and Reporters Without Borders. The event, Breaking Borders, took the anniversary as an opportunity to explore how the Internet is playing a role in advancing participatory democracy around the globe. Twenty years earlier, television and satellite technology helped play a role in the fall of the Wall, by connecting people and empowering them with information.