The anniversary Forum was opened by the secretary of the Russian Union of Journalists Ashot Dzhazoyan: the participants discussed what the future of journalism could be in the post-covid-19 world.
Greetings were made by the representative of the Governor of St. Petersburg and Director of the State Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovsky. They noted that over the years, the forum has already proved its relevance and wealth for strengthening relations between cultures.

"We are happy to see pretty faces; it's great that interesting discussions take place in the Hermitage. Many years later we all see the result: we know how your unclouded and unbroken eyes see what those who usually visit and take pictures in the Hermitage do not even notice. We see how your fresh perspective on art and art treasury spread around the world," Mikhail Piotrovsky said.

For the first time, the forum is being held in a hybrid format: foreign participants of the Forum, including photographer Chris de Bode, Polish journalist Michal Szymko, Argentinian travel blogger Manuel Guijarrubia performed at the Hermitage Theater. But this is not the last innovation. Blogs, vlogs, TikTok today are the most relevant topics for discussion.

The Forum was attended by tiktokers – fifth-graders from Zadonsk Sofia Domornikova and Yegor Fedorov. The idea of their project - video walks in the hometown of the children - was suggested to them by the secretary of the Russian Union of Journalists Ashot Dzhazoyan. "Digital Cossacks," as he called them, said that they wanted to shoot a video in the Hermitage. It would be about the hero of the war of 1812 Luka Alekseevich Denisyev, who was buried in Zadonsk.

Young TikTokers, Sofia Domornikova and Egor Fedorov (Zadonsk, Russia)
Photo by Tatyana Zharkova
"Why are the vlogs popular? They always show a specific life. For example, they don't just talk about a hospital, but about a doctor who saved someone's life. Such stories are trendy along with new topics and an information agenda," says Marina Zakharova, deputy editor-in-chief of the Regnum news agency.

Photo by Anastasia Kalinina
According to Mikhail Piotrovsky, the most important thing is that participants can feel the atmosphere of today's Hermitage, which creates and exists following the COVID-19 scheme. "I ask you to look attentively; this is a new museum now," he added.

In this sense, the forum is a really important platform that makes it possible to actualize this concept.

New media trends in 2021 have become the subject of vivid discussions and speeches of young journalists.

Participants talked about the pandemic. Among the photographs on this topic, we can see are the works of the Serbian photographer Nemanja Pancic, which illustrate life during the lockdown.

Harutyun Tsatryan, the chairman of the European Youth Press
It was discussed how to support the professional development of young media professionals and what to expect from the Dialogue itself. For example, the chairman of the European Youth Press, Harutyun Tsatryan, talked about sharing experiences and the importance of understanding their mission.

Talking about the unifying role of the media, in such a context, the forum is more relevant than ever.

Young people are looking to the future. And when this generation takes responsibility for their country, relations between Russia and the West will change," says Johan Vanderplaetse, Chairman of the Board of the Association for European Businesses. He also reminds that St. Petersburg, where the Forum is being held, is originally the "window to Europe".