European Federation of Journalists

EFJ Webinar: Countering political interference in the media

On 19 and 20 April, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will be hosting a series of two webinars as part of the project “Building independent media to counter political interference” funded by Open Society Foundations. With a great line-up of members of the European Parliament dealing with media freedom, the European Commission, the Center for Media Pluralism and Freedom, the OSCE and experts like Dr. Vaclav Stetka and Elda Brogi as well as journalists’ organisation leaders speaking from their field experience and showcasing campaigns and resilience, these two mid-day webinars, free and open to all upon registration, shall allow for in-depth discussions and constructive suggestions for action and policy in times of crisis.

Stetka will give new insights into the project “Illiberal Turn” and a first-ever systematic, comparative study of news consumption and political polarisation in Central and Eastern Europe, at a key point in time when the region is undergoing dramatic changes. Marc Gruber will outline the findings of his research done among EFJ affiliates giving examples of campaigns and best practice  and proposing recommendations to be discussed by large.

Have a look at the agenda and feel free to register at the link below.


You may register to join the webinars on Day 1 here and on Day 2 here. For more information on the speakers, you can find a collection of their short biographies here.


Monday, 19 April 2021

11:00 – 11:40: “Why does media independence matter to us?”

  • Anna Donath, MEP, Hungary 
  • Ramona StrugariuMEP, Romania
  • Yana Toom, Estonia, MEP, Estonia 

Moderator: Renate Schroeder, EFJ Director 

11:40 – 12:55: “The status of media independence in Europe: An illiberal turn?”

  • Dr Vaclav Stetka, Loughborough University, UK
  • Marc Gruber, Researcher and Media Consultant 

Moderator: Maja Sever, President, Croatian Trade Union of Journalists (TUCJ) 

12:55 – 1:00: Wrap up – End of Day 1

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

13:00 – 13:05: Welcoming and introduction

13:05 – 14:00: Case studies
“Building independent media to counter political interference in in challenging regimes”: Belarus, Turkey and Ukraine

Introduction and Moderation: Andrei Richter, Senior Adviser at OSCE

  • Volha Siakhovich, Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ)
  • Mustafa Kuleli, Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS)
  • Sergiy Tomilenko, National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU)

14:00 – 14:55: In EU and applicant countries: Austria, Macedonia and Spain

Introduction and Moderation: Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ General Secretary

  • Gregor Kucera, Austria (GPA)
  • Marina Tuneva, North Macedonia, Press Council
  • Joan Barata Spain (PDLI)

14:55 – 15:10: Coffee break

15:10 – 16:00: “EU policies and instruments to ensure media independence”

Moderation: Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, President, EFJ

  • Elda Brogi, Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom
  • Roberta Carlini, Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom
  • Marie Frenay, media pluralism and media freedom within EC cabinet of Vice-President Věra Jourová

The “Building independent media to counter political interference” project is funded by the Open Society Foundations (OSF).