The EJN, together with their partners the Evens Foundation and Free Press Unlimited, will host a free online panel looking at challenges to the media and ethical journalism in Central Eastern Europe. Join us on Monday 11th October, 18:30 CET / 17:30 BST, when this panel will explore the crackdown on freedom of expression in the region and the impact it has had on independent journalism.

This discussion will look at the challenges which have emerged since the Covid-19 pandemic and draw on cases from Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia to look at opportunities and threats for independent media.

Our panelists will share their insights and experiences on the roles and responsibilities of journalists and independent media platforms who are contributing to better responsible journalism.






The event will be moderated by Dr Aida Al-Kaisy from the Ethical Journalism Network. Our panellists will include Maryia Sadouskaya-Komlach from Free Press for Eastern Europe; Anna Gielewska, of Reporters Foundation Poland; and Marius Dragomir, of CFMDS Hungary.

Maryia Sadouskaya-Komlach is a media development specialist and journalist with more than 15 years of professional experience. She has lived and worked in Belarus, U.S., Czechia, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France and managed projects in Eastern and Central Europe, Central Asia, and Central America. Maryia’s interests are democracy transition, human rights, media development in “closed” environments, including exiled media and disinformation. Being a Belarus native, she has covered the EU-Belarus relations and Belarusian foreign policy since 2001. In 2015, Maryia advised the European Endowment for Democracy on its Feasibility Study on Russian-language Media Initiatives. In 2019, she co-wrote a comprehensive analysis of Syrian exiled media for the International Media Support (Denmark). Maryia currently leads the Eurasia team at the Dutch non-for-profit media support organization Free Press Unlimited. She holds a Master’s degree in Journalism/Politics from Columbia University and is a non-resident fellow at Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA).

Anna Gielewska is vice-chairman of the Reporters Foundation (the first organization of investigative journalism in Poland) and coordinator of the cross-border project She was a JSK Knight Fellow 2019/20 at Stanford University,  working on a project on countering organized disinformation through strengthening cross-sector partnerships. She has covered politics for leading Polish newspapers, including “Rzeczpospolita”, “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna” and “Wprost”.

Marius Dragomir is the Director of the Center for Media, Data and Society of Central European University in Vienna. He previously worked for the Open Society Foundations (OSF) for over a decade. He has also been one of the main editors for PIJ’s flagship research and advocacy project, Mapping Digital Media, which covered 56 countries worldwide, and he was the main writer and editor of OSF’s Television Across Europe, a comparative study of broadcast policies in 20 European countries. He is now running the Media Influence Matrix, a global research project looking into power relations and undue influence in news media.




This panel is produced as part of an Ethical Journalism Network project with their partners the Evens Foundation and Fritt Ord called Building Trust in Journalism which addresses the challenges that the media are facing in Central Eastern Europe. The project has seen the publication of reports on the media landscapes in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia with reports on Georgia and Ukraine to follow. 

Download our Building Trust in Journalism reports



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