Meeting of the Advisory Board of “The illiberal Turn” Project

Dr Vaclav Stetka (PI) and Professor Sabina Mihelj (Co-I) have been awarded an ESRC standard research grant for a project titled “The Illiberal Turn? News Consumption, Political Polarisation and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe” (£817,000). The project will carry out a comparative analysis of the relationship between news consumption and political attitudes in four CEE countries – Poland, Czechia, Hungary and Serbia, at a key point in time when the region is witnessing the rise of populist leaders, resurgence of illiberal nationalism, and a shift towards authoritarian forms of government. Scheduled to run from May 2019 until November 2021,…

Journalists’ Debate: “Freedom of speech, it’s what I love, it’s what I understand”

The conference is organised by the Journalists Solidarity Foundation and the Polish Journalists Association (SDP). The conference title – Freedom (of speech) it’s what I love, it’s what I understand – quotes a well-known song by the popular Polish rock band of the 1990s to highlight that freedom of speech is not just a theoretical concept. We need to cherish freedom in order to be able to stand up for it when jeopardized, whatever the dangers. This was the case in Poland and in other countries which had been subjected to Russia for several dozens of years. Communism had fallen but we…

Italian journalist killed during the Strasbourg attack

On December 13, Antonio Megalizzi, an Italian journalist who had been seriously hurt at the head during the gun attack on the Christmas market in Strasbourg, died after being for few days in a coma. His conditions were partiicularly bad since the very first moment and when he arrived at the hospital it was clear that he was struggling between life and death. Megalizzi, who was only 28 years old, went in Strasbourg as a voluntary journalist of Europhonica, a shared radio show aiming to give voice to independent student and university media interested in Europe. The show broadcasts from the European Parliament…

EP Public hearing – Role of Independent Public Service Media for Democracy in Europe

Independence of Public Service Media (PSM) in Europe is under increased pressure in a number of the EU Member States. Destabilization of this democratic institution in the context of the overall challenges in Europe and weakening of other democratic institutions, such as political parties represents a real threat to the democracy in Europe. The PSM in Hungary is under the full control of Orban. In 2016 a political cleansing took place in the public service broadcaster in Poland followed by a political purge in the Croatian broadcaster. Recently the Czech Television is under pressure for rejection of their annual report,…

Free European Media: Let’s join forces for freedom of the press!

Over 120 journalists, representatives of journalists’ organisations, national media regulators and press councils, as well as academics, politicians, and civil society activists gathered on 15-16 February at the Solidarność Centre in Gdansk, Poland, for a conference on “Free European Media”. The event has concluded with a number of proposed steps, including the need to strengthen partnerships between all stakeholders. The event has been organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in cooperation with the Council of Europe (CoE), the Nordic Journalism Centre, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and the International Press Institute (IPI), with the support…

Matthew Caruana Galizia’s speech at Free European Media

This is the keynote speech given by Matthew Caruana Galizia, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist at ICIJ, at the conference “Free European Media” which took place in Gdansk, 15-16 February 2018. What are ethics? What is self-censorship? My father, brothers and I spent our first Christmas without my mother together, in a cottage hidden away in rural England. We cooked, played Monopoly and watched cowboy films by Sergio Leone. It reminded me why my mother liked them so much- her first regular column was called The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In life, like in these parables disguised as films, there are the good…

Harlem Désir’s speech at Free European Media

This is the keynote speech given by Harlem Désir, Representative on Freedom of the Media for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), at the conference “Free European Media” which took place in Gdansk, 15-16 February 2018.   Mr. President of the European Federation of Journalists, Mogens Bjerregård, M. President of the City of Gdansk, Pawel Adamovicz, Mr. Director Basil Kerski, who welcomed me at the European Solidarity Centre two years ago, Dear Secretary General Ricardo Gutiérrez, Dear Director Patrick Penninckx, Ladies and gentlemen, It is a great pleasure for me to be back in Gdansk, a free city since centuries, and to have the opportunity to speak with…

President’s speech on Free European Media

This is the welcoming speech given by Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, president of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), at the conference “Free European Media” which took place in Gdansk, 15-16 February 2018.   Distinguished hosts, colleagues, partners, guests – welcome to this conference that is a part of a larger program focusing on the increasing conflict between media and politics that we witness recently. The organisers for this conference are European Federation of Journalists, the Council of Europe, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, the International Press Institute and the Nordic Journalism Centre. This conference should not be seen as…

EFJ co-organises the “Free European Media” Conference in Gdansk

Over 150 journalists, representatives of media organisations, media regulators and press councils, as well as academics, politicians and human rights activists are expected to attend the “Free European Media” Conference to take place in Gdansk (Poland) on 15 – 16 February 2018. The conference is organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), in cooperation with the Council of Europe, the Nordic Journalism Centre, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom and the International Press Institute, with the support of Polish journalists associations, local authorities and European Trade Union Federations, to address the importance of uncensored pluralistic media, a crucial element of liberal democracy. Participants…

Polish journalist receives death threats after public Polish TV classifies her remarks as “harmful to Poland”

Dorota Bawolek, a Polish journalist working in Brussels for Polish private TV channel Polsat TV, was targeted by hundreds of hateful messages on social media after the Polish public TV station TVP reproached her of having asked the European Commission an “upsetting” question on Thursday 13 July 2017. That Thursday, during the daily press conference of the European Commission in Brussels, Dorota Bawolek asked for explanations on the state of democracy in Poland. On that same day, the Polish Parliament had adopted a draft law that would weaken the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and of the Supreme Court…

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