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Course structure and objectives
Arguably, the biggest challenge to media freedom and independent journalism today is the systemic political corruption in which private interests shape the decision-making process in state bodies and institutions. Increasingly, a model of captive, politically instrumentalized news media financed by owners, corporations, social and political groups, or governments, is becoming dominant in most parts of the world. This has severe consequences on independent media and journalism.
The aim of this course is to provide participants (researchers, journalists, activists, media practitioners, policymakers, advocates) with in-depth understanding of the nature of these new power relations and how they influence media and journalism; and with advocacy training to help them play a role in campaigning for progressive media policy and laws in their countries.
The objectives of the course are, then, to:
- Stimulate and advance research, scholarship and academic discourse on the relations between power, media and journalism;
- Provide advanced training and practical skill building to enable participants to understand policies and regulations that allow state capture, and help participants learn and exchange strategies and tactics for influencing policy debates on these issues;
- Provide a forum for policy advocates, human rights activists, journalists and policymakers to come together and discuss strategies to fight state capture;
- Provide a forum for knowledge, experience and skill sharing of campaigns, tools, tactics and case studies in the domestic, regional and global context that address media policy and journalism;
- Identify a core group of scholars working in this area and nurture their research interests and capabilities with the aim of future collaborations amongst faculty, course participants, organizations and CEU;
- Gain hands-on experience to develop an advocacy strategy for improving transparency in the decision-making process and fairness in regulation of media;
- Develop the network of researchers and practitioners engaged in studying and responding to the adverse effects of state capture on independent media, journalism and journalists.
Sessions will feature a mix of lectures, group discussions, hands-on practicums, as well as two field trips within Budapest to meet with organizations engaged with work in this field. The course will be organized thematically across each day, building from macro issues and broad conceptual overviews to specific target topics and case studies, including introduction to different research methods and technologies. The teaching style will be interactive and participatory. Participants will come away with a deeper understanding of key literature, scholars, networks, and research projects related to state capture and media power, of which will be of use to them in their scholarship and applied work back home.