MFRR Summit 2023 | Day 3
From Hungary and Poland to the Czech Republic and Slovenia, Europe – in particular central Europe – has become a hotbed for state capture of media. The panels on day 3 will look into the crisis of political exploitation of the media through the abuse of state economic and regulatory levers. It will examine issues around media pluralism, ownership transparency and the abuse of state budgets to fund clientelist media in illiberal democracies. It will also debate whether the EU’s Media Freedom Act can provide the tools to prevent the march towards politically captured media.
Keynote: Media Pluralism in Crisis
12:15 – 12:35 CET
During the final keynote of the MFRR Summit 2023, Julia Cage, Associate Professor of Economics, Sciences Po Paris, will discuss news as a public good and highlight solutions to solve the media crisis. The speech will outline the particular importance of democratic governance structures for media organisations as well as potential solutions for supporting the funding of both private media and public broadcasters.
- Julia Cage, Associate Professor of Economics, Sciences Po Paris
Standing up for pluralistic media in France
12:35 – 13:00 CET
The panel will offer a response to the keynote delivered by Julia Cage, exploring the issues raised on media ownership, media pluralism, and media capture in depth and its implications for media freedom in France.
- Dimitra Laurence Larochelle, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, Université du Québec à Montréal (CELAT) & Université Sorbonne Nouvelle
- Alan Ouakrat, Associate Professor in Communication & Media Studies, University Sorbonne Nouvelle
- Camille Petit, Communications Officer, European Federation of Journalists
Media Capture in Slovakia
Defending a fragile pluralism
This interview with Peter Hanak – journalist at Aktuality.sk and researcher at the International Press Institute (IPI) – will focus on IPI’s latest report into media capture in Slovakia, where public service media have been compromised and the parliamentary appointment of board members to public media and regulatory bodies creates politicised structures. During the interview there will also be a focus on media pluralism across the private media sector, their relations to politicians and prospects for media reform. The interview will be conducted by Oliver Money-Kyrle, Head of Europe Advocacy and Programmes at IPI.
- Peter Hanak, Journalist at Aktuality.sk, Researcher at International Press Institute, Lecturer at Comenius University Bratislava
- Oliver Money-Kyrle, Head of European Advocacy, International Press Institute
Media capture in action
Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece
13:30 – 14:15 CET
Panel 2 of Day 3 features an esteemed panel of experts from Hungary, Greece, and Bulgaria who will share their insights on media capture and its impact on independent journalism. This panel will discuss the impact of media capture on independent journalism, the forces behind media capture and the abuse of state powers to create clientelist media. It will also look at how media are being forced to adapt to survive and serve their communities.
Tamas Bodoky, Editor in Chief, Atlatszo
- Lambrini Papadopoulou, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication and Media Studies, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
- Velislava Popova, Editor, Dnevnik
- Jamie Wiseman, Advocacy Officer, International Press Institute
The EMFA’s role in tackling media capture
14:30 – 15:15 CET
Join us for an insightful panel discussion on the Media Freedom Act, launched by the European Commission in September 2022. The Act aims to protect independent journalism against the forces of media capture and is currently in the midst of the legislative process. Our panel of media policy experts will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Act and share their insights on how it can help protect independent journalism against the forces of media capture.
Audrius Perkauskas, Deputy Head of Unit, Audiovisual and Media Policy, European Commission
- Renate Schroeder, Director, European Federation of Journalists
- Olaf Steenfadt, Founder and Managing Director at Global Media Registry
- Oliver Money-Kyrle, Head of European Advocacy, Internatonal Press Institute
The practical applications of the Media Freedom Act
15:30 – 15:45 CET
Next on the list is an interview with Marius Dragomir, Director of the Media and Journalism Research Center and a leading expert on media capture. In this interview, Dragomir will answer pressing questions regarding the practical applications of the Media Freedom Act. He will share his insights on what aspects of the Act are likely to work effectively, what still remains as wishful thinking, and how to ensure that the EMFA is implemented in a meaningful and impactful way. The interview will be conducted by Laurens Hueting, Senior Advocacy Officer at the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF).
Marius Dragomir, Director, Media and Journalism Research Center
- Laurens Hueting, Senior Advocacy Officer, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom
Governed by algorithms
Media Freedom in the digital age
15:45 – 16:00 CET
The last session of the 2023 Summit features an engaging interview with Andreas Ekström, a renowned Swedish journalist with over two decades of experience in the field. Ekström has been working at Sydsvenska, a daily newspaper published in Scania, Sweden since 1998. He is also a recognised expert on journalism, media, digitization, and copyright issues, with a significant body of work dating back to 2003. In 2019, he was named “Speaker of the Year” in Sweden. In this interview, Gürkan Özturan, MFRR Project Coordinator at the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), will engage Ekström in a conversation about the challenges facing journalism in the digital age. The discussion will focus on the growing trend of news readers migrating to digital platforms and the associated challenges that come with it, such as the monopolisation of information by social media companies and their impact on editorial independence.
Andreas Ekström, Journalist, Sydsvenskan
- Gürkan Özturan, MFRR Coordinator, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom