Advocacy, Communication, Free Expression, Governance, Journalism, Media, Public policy, Technology


   Organized by the Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS) at the Central European University (CEU)

Course date

26 June - 7 July, 2017
31 March, 2017
The application deadline has expired. Late applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Course Director(s): 

Susan Abbott

Cross-Pollinate Consulting Solutions, Denver, USA

Kate Coyer

Center for Media, Data and Society, School of Public Policy, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Marius Dragomir

Center for Media, Data and Society, School of Public Policy, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Course Faculty: 

Nicholas Benequista

Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), Washington DC, United States of America

Goran Buldioski

Open Society Initiative for Europe/ Think Tank Fund, Budapest, Hungary

Dalma Dojcsak

Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Budapest, Hungary

Marton Gergely

Former Nepszabadsag, Budapest, Hungary

Miklos Haraszti

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary/UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Belarus

Rasto Kuzel

MEMO 98, Bratislava, Slovalkia

Davor Marko

Analitika Center for Social Research, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina/ Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Christian Mihr

Reporters without Borders, Germany

Mira Milosevic

Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD), Brussels, Belgium

Sejal Parmar

Department of Legal Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Courtney Radsch

Committee to Protect Journalists, New York, USA

Paul Cristian Radu

Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project/ RISE Project, Bucharest, Romania

Andrew Stroehlein

Human Rights Watch, New York, USA

Agnes Urban

Mertek Media Monitor, Budapest, Hungary
Course Coordinator: 

Dumitrita Holdis

Center for Media, Data and Society, School of Public Policy, CEU, Budapest, Hungary
Course Manager: 

Eva Bognar

Center for Media, Data and Society, Democracy Institute, CEU, Budapest, Hungary

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:

  1. Stimulate and advance research, scholarship and academic discourse on the relations between power, media and journalism;
  2. 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;
  3. Provide a forum for policy advocates, human rights activists, journalists and policymakers to come together and discuss strategies to fight state capture;
  4. 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;
  5. 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;  
  6. Gain hands-on experience to develop an advocacy strategy for improving transparency in the decision-making process and fairness in regulation of media;
  7. 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.