Matthias Pfeffer

founding director Council for European Public Space

Matthias Pfeffer, TV journalist, author and advisor, founder of PfefferMedia, studied philosophy and was initially a war reporter for SPIEGEL TV and Sat. 1 (in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Somalia, Moscow during the coup against Gorbachev) before founding FOCUS TV (Hubert-Burda-Media Munich) in 1995, which he headed as managing director and editor-in-chief for 20 years. During this time, he was responsible for several TV news magazines and political documentaries. He also founded the television channel FOCUS GESUNDHEIT and was involved in media policy in Germany, which he played a major role in shaping as a representative of independent private news programmes.

Together with Paul Nemitz, he published the book Prinzip Mensch, Macht Freiheit und Demokratie im Zeitalter der Künstlichen Intelligenz (The Human Imperative, Power, Freedom and Democracy in the Age of AI). The book was nominated on the shortlist of The Political Book of the Year 2020 in Germany. His new book Menschliches Denken und Künstliche Intelligenz (Human Thinking and Artificial Intelligence, A call for Action) was published in October 2021. Pfeffer has published several articles on AI and the public sphere in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, WELT, Tagesspiegel and other newspapers.

He was Visiting Professor at the University of Bergamo, Department History of Science and Philosophy in 2022 on Epistemology of Artificial Intelligence. Currently he is lecturer at the Technische Universität München for “Digitalization and Democracy”. Matthias is consultant for the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) in their project A European Perspective. He is at present founding director of the Council for European Public Space, supported by the European Cultural Foundation which will work for a democratic public sphere in Europe. As a first concrete project he co-initiated, a Europe-wide network of civil media institutions that recently received funding from the European Commission.

Matthias lives in Berlin and Munich.

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