Panel discussion
19.03.2023 · 14.00 Uhr

Sigrid Weigel, Katharina Nocun: Media in its time – 1848 and 2023. From leaflet to tweet – analogies to the digital age

Ort: Mechanische Arena im Foyer des Humboldt Forums, Schloßplatz, 10178 Berlin

Panel discussion as part of the Berlin Weekend for Democracy at the Humboldt Forum

As a result of the barricade fighting on March 18, 1848, the Prussian military fired on peaceful demonstrators. It was not until the morning of that day that press censorship had fallen and the bloody revolutionary upheavals of that day that current political events could only be communicated by leaflet. This was because the Berlin daily newspapers were no longer up-to-date.

Leaflets actively drove the process of shaping public opinion during the revolutionary days, including false reports. They were the congenial mass medium. Many authors hid behind pseudonyms. New printing techniques made it possible to print large numbers in a short time. The parallels to the dynamics of current opinion formation in social media are astounding.

Analogies and boundaries in the creation, dissemination and reception of news in 1848 and 2023 will be the topic of the panel discussion at the historical site, in the Mechanical Arena in the foyer of the Humboldt Forum.


  • Sigrid Weigel (former director of the ZfL)
  • Katharina Nocun (civil rights activist, publicist, politologist)
  • Moderation: Markus Dichmann (DLF Nova)

Sigrid Weigel is the former director of the ZfL and Professor emerita at the Technical University of Berlin.