09 December Challenges to Independent Media in Central Europe

Activities data

  • Date
  • Time -
  • Location Bratislava - streamed online

Organized by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bratislava in partnership with Aktuality.sk, the largest Slovak online news portal with focus on investigative journalism, and in cooperation with Dutch embassies in Prague, Warsaw and Budapest.

- Broadcast live via https://www.facebook.com/Aktuality.sk

- Video recording available later on Facebook and at https://www.aktuality.sk/video/

The need for the protection and support of press freedom and independent journalism has emerged as particularly relevant in the Visegrad countries (V4). In international rankings, press freedom and trust in media has deteriorated in Hungary and Poland.

Decreased pluralism

Pluralism of the media landscape in Hungary has significantly decreased, while polarization is a distinct characteristic of the Polish media scene. In Slovakia, media freedom and protection of journalists have increased in importance in the aftermath of the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak (who used to work for Aktuality.sk, co-organizer of the event) in 2018. Media ownership concentration in the Czech Republic has reached critical levels.

Remembering Jan Kuciak
©Branislav Waclav Actuality.sk

What is the current state of media freedom in the V4 region (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia)? What challenges are media facing in these countries? What opportunities or best practices have emerged in the recent period? What are the differences in the country-specific developments? Are there any similarities or trends that can be  seen in the whole region? How has the covid-19 crisis impacted the functioning of media and the work of journalists in the V4? 

Beata Balogová, Editor-in-Chief of SME, a leading  Slovak newspaper, and Vice-Chair of the Executive Board of the International Press Institute, and Peter Bárdy, Editor-in-Chief of Aktuality.sk, will co-host the panel discussion and  share their insights in the current developments in Slovakia in the field of media and journalism.

They will later join WPFC in The Hague live, on 9 December in a session between 15:00 – 15:15 CET, to sum up the main conclusions of the regional panel discussion and reflect upon developments in Slovakia and beyond. The hosts will be joined by the following panelists:

  • Pavla Holcová, award-winning investigative journalist and founder of the Czech non-profit newsroom investigace.cz,
  • Michał Szułdrzyński, Deputy Managing Editor of Rzeczpospolita, one of the biggest Polish dailies,
  • Márton Gergely, Lead Editor of Hungary's largest current affairs weekly HVG.