The Ethical Journalism Network, together with their partners the Evens Foundation and the Fritt Ord Foundation, has produced a series of reports which look at the challenges that the media are facing in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Georgia and Ukraine.
The frontline role of independent journalism in Ukraine needs greater international support says the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) in a special report on the country’s media situation. It highlights the importance of international donor support for media and the networks of international media support that are raising funds and urgently needed help for Ukraine media. It also reinforces the importance of Ukraine’s home-grown efforts to build a professional journalistic landscape through the country’s ethics commission which despite the war continues to work to build support for independent journalism.
Download the Building Trust in Journalism – Ukraine report
Building Trust in Journalism – Georgia provides an overview of the challenges and opportunities facing the media in Georgia. Based on desk research and key stakeholder interviews from across the media landscape, it finds that the Georgian press is pluralistic but highly politicised, polarised and as a result often unethical. Competing political interests are the drivers of pluralism at the large, politically affiliated television stations and websites rather than any genuine attempt to inform the Georgian public in an unbiased, balanced and ethical manner. Local media and independent websites are making a genuine effort to inform the population.
Download the Building Trust in Journalism – Georgia report
Based on a number of interviews conducted with media practitioners, activists and experts in Slovakia, the report finds that the Slovak media landscape is the most free of the Visegrad countries. There are some concerns in relation to mainstream media ownership which appears to remain firmly in the grip of a select number of financial groups and oligarchs with strong business and economic interests. However, there are a number of interesting and successful attempts at developing independent platforms and the tradition for investigative journalism is strong in Slovakia and it is having an impact on policy and tackling corruption. The report includes a set of clear recommendations for the media and policy communities to take forward.
Download the Building Trust in Journalism – Slovakia report
Building Trust in Journalism – Czech Republic
Based on a number of interviews conducted with media practitioners in the Czech Republic, this report finds that the ownership of the most influential news outlets by a handful of billionaire tycoons and politicians including the prime minister has had a chilling effect on journalism in the country. The overall impact of their takeover has been a decline in the credibility and trust of the media among the public and a drop in the Czech Republic’s international press freedom rankings. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated all the problems outlined in this report, particularly in the regions.
Download the Building Trust in Journalism – Czech Republic report
Building Trust in Journalism – Bulgaria
This report argues that control of much of the Bulgarian media is in the hands of pro-government allies and oligarchs who have created an environment where sensational and tabloid journalism is thriving at the expense of quality outlets. The ethical pockets that are trying to produce ethical quality journalism are often subject to intimidation and harassment from their counterparts in the tabloid private press which are owned by oligarch structures aligned to the government. These circumstances are creating an environment where trust in the media is continually declining.
Download the Building Trust in Journalism – Bulgaria report
Building Trust in Journalism – Hungary
Based on a number of interviews conducted with media practitioners in Hungary, the report looks at the impact that a media environment that has been captured by political interests has on independent journalistic practice and ethics as well as on building trust in journalism. It includes a set of clear recommendations for the media and policy communities to take forward.
Download the Building Trust in Journalism – Hungary report
Building Trust in Journalism – Poland
Based on a number of interviews conducted with media practitioners in Poland, the report explores the impact of political polarisation on the media and the growing political pressure on media independence and professional practice. It includes a set of clear recommendations for the media and policy communities to take forward.
Download the Building Trust in Journalism – Poland report
The Evens Foundation
The Evens Foundation aims to contribute to rethinking and building a European reality committed to the values of diversity, freedom, responsibility and solidarity. We identify and support innovative ideas and achievements through our prizes and calls, initiate experimental projects bridging the gap between research and practice, and facilitate knowledge exchange through our lectures, seminars, debates and publications.
The Fritt Ord Foundation
The Fritt Ord Foundation is a private non-profit foundation that is intended to protect and promote freedom of expression, public debate, art and culture. We work internationally, concentrating on projects directly related to freedom of expression and free journalism.
Main image: Central and Eastern Europe – Planet Earth. The night view of city lights. Political borders of Central and East European Countries. Image by Trzmiel/Shutterstock.