I was a speaker during a one-day mini-conference in Brussels on the current developments in Central and Eastern-European media markets. The focus was of course Hungary, and I was gave a speech on how different pressures coming from politicians and business groups influence journalistic independence and quality content. The event was organized by the State Representation Offices of North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union, and the University of Münster. More on the program here.
A Hungarian media policy think tank, Mertek, for which I have the honor to work for released its annual report on soft censorship practices. Its title for 2014 is "Gasping for Air" and describes how independent Hungarian media is struggling to cope with pressures from the government and oligarchs.
The recent clampdown on an NGO, media freedom and the potential for the EU to monitor the fundamental rights situation in member states were among the main issues raised at a European Parliament public hearing on human rights in Hungary. The hearing took place on 22 January in the Parliament's justice committee in Brussels with representatives of NGOs, international organisations and the Hungarian government in attendance. I represented Atlatszo.hu, a non-profit investigative journalism initiative. Here is the official summary, and some more coverage.
I am working with Ashoka, an international organizations focusing on changemakers to design a global stipend program for solutions journalists. Here is an interview Ashoka Canada made with me in which I explain how journalism is undergoing changes. The main takeaway is here: "Tomorrow’s news organizations cannot survive simply by reporting and distributing information. Instead they will thrive by moving to higher-value activities, such as helping people advance their lives, engage powerfully in their communities and society - and, ultimately, bring about change." Read the full interview.