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Media in Troubled Democracies

The CEU Campus
Friday, May 19, 2017, 9:30 am

Troubled Democracy: Media, Power and Control

LSE Symposium

Recent years have brought about new challenges to media landscapes around the world. On the one hand, media inform us less than they used to do, post-fact news and infotainment misrepresent the complex world we live in, and public sphere becomes void of meaning and informed debate. On the other, there is widespread involvement of governments in the deterioration of conditions in which media organizations function. Violations of liberal values, including the encroachment on freedom of expression, media freedom and pluralism, have been reported in many countries.

The symposium will engage with issues of political, cultural and economic pressures that continue to challenge the development of democratic media cultures in Europe and beyond. It will discuss the following questions:

  • How do media monitor and control the power holders on behalf the citizens?
  • How do media negotiate their relationships with governments and other political forces that determine the life of others?
  • How do media provide space for critical and reasoned public debate?
  • How do media give voice to citizens, create public opinion and guide decision-makers and power holders in their actions?


9:30-10:00 Coffee & Registration

10:00-10:05 Welcome

10:05-11:30 Round Table: Journalists in Troubled Democracies

Chair: Charlie Beckett, Polis/LSE

  • Sonia Delesalle-Stolper,UK and Ireland correspondent, Libération, London
  • Arkady Ostrovsky, Russia Editor, The Economist, London
  • Jacek Żakowski, Gazeta Wyborcza, Collegium Civitas, Warsaw
  • Martin Šimečka, Respekt, Praque

11:30-11.45 Coffee Break

11:45-13:15 Panel 1: Media, Power and Control in Troubled Democracies I

Chair: Stanisław Mocek, Collegium Civitas

  • Thomas Hanitzsch, LMU Munich – Worlds of Journalism: Global Imaginaries of Journalistic Roles and Influences on the News
  • Miklos Haraszti, Central European University – Hungary's media governance: a near-perfect model of illiberal state censorship
  • Natalia Ryabinska, Collegium Civitas – New obstacles to media democratization in post-communist countries: the case of Ukraine

13:15-13:45 Lunch

13:45-15:15 Panel 2: Media, Power and Control in Troubled Democracies II

Chair: Eva Połońska, LSE

  • Daphne Skillen, UK – Media and Politics in Russia: From Gorbachev to Putin
  • Katrin Voltmer, Hendrik Kraetzschmar, Leeds University & Nebojsa Vladisavljevic, Belgrade University – Interpretations of Democracy (Egypt, Serbia and South AFrica)
  • Emre Caliskan, Oxford University & Simon Waldman, King’s College London –The erosion of media freedom in Turkey's post-military era

15:15-15:30 Coffee Break

15:30-17:00 Panel 3: Standards, Laws and Regulations for Media in Democracy

Chair: Jacek Żakowski, Collegium Civitas

  • Pierre François Docquir, Article 19 – International standards in media freedoms and independence
  • Alison Harcourt, Exeter University – Government accountability & transparency in digital world
  • Eva Połońska, LSE – Disciplining Democracy: the EU and the media in Hungary, Poland and Turkey

17:00 Drinks

The Symposium is supported by POLIS, Media Policy Project and the Noble Foundation’s Programme on Modern Poland