It all starts
with the words...

About Press Freedom Conference 2020

It all starts with the words…
Europe’s media is under assault and the attack begins with words. Journalists get attacked online, by politicians and the powerful. And sometimes they are murdered. In between journalists are arrested, attacked, censored, fired, intimidated.It’s time to take a stance.

Lets meet in Gdansk, Poland, at the second PressFreedomConference  

Save your Date! Press freedom conference coming soon!
Join us in Gdansk, on 21/22 January 2020!

What is PressFreedomConference?

 Press Freedom Conference is a space to empower independent journalism, and to defend a free media as a pillar of European democracies. At the Press Freedom Conference 2020 we will continue taking stock of the status of press freedom in Central and Eastern Europe and discuss the challenges posed by verbal and online attacks on journalists.

Attacking the press stifles public debate and ultimately threatens democracy and social cohesion.


150 media experts
from all over CEE
10 countries
30 speakers

Meet our speakers

Meera Selva
Director Fellowship Programme, Reuters Institute  Meera is an accomplished senior journalist with experience in Europe, Asia and Africa. She joined the Reuters Institute in 2017 and runs a program that focuses on the challenges of journalism worldwide. She has worked as a journalist in London, Berlin, Nairobi and Singapore.

Galina Arapova
Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University 

Director and senior media lawyer of the NGO Mass Media Defence Centre (Russia). She is a trustee of the human rights organization ARTICLE 19; Russian national expert on admissibility of the Council of Europe’s HELP program (Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals).

Andrew Gray

European Union Editor at POLITICO Europe. Based in Brussels, he is responsible for coverage of EU institutions and politics in major European capitals including Paris and Berlin. Andrew also oversees POLITICO’s EU Confidential podcast, which he co-hosts.

Previously, Andrew worked at Reuters as a correspondent and bureau chief for 15 years. He was posted to Germany, Geneva, the Balkans, West Africa, London and Washington, where he covered the Pentagon.

Born and raised in Scotland, Andrew has a bachelor’s degree in languages and a master’s degree in investigative journalism.


The Challenge
  An independent, pluralist media is one of the basic pillars of a truly democratic society. Journalists should play a key role in providing the public with accurate, relevant and independent news that holds power to account.
This is not something that is done easily or without risk.
But the attacks journalists endure, from politicians, from business men, from online trolls, makes their jobs harder.
This conference looks at examples of these attacks from all over central and eastern Europea and looks for ways forwards.

How are political attacks on journalists chilling the industry? How to we change the narrative and create a healthy information ecosystem. How do we make sure Europe’s citizens get high quality information?
We need to look at ways to deal with hate speech, misinformation and propaganda with a variety of tools, from regulation, technology, community engagement and of course, the media.


Solution 1: People Engagement

The involvement of society in combating unfair forms of communication is perhaps the most valuable asset of civil society. In Europe, we already have citizens’ initiatives to combat hate speech and fake news. The experience gained in this way can be invaluable in the development of further projects. Let’s start with people.


Solution 2: Technology

 Technology can be a threat, but also holds the keys for a possible solution for journalism. This conference will look at how to we can harness technology for good, drawing on examples of start ups that are fighting to defend journalism.  


Solution 3: Legal 

 Europe’s civil society is one of its greatest strengths, and plays a crucial role in creating a healthy public debate. There are already several citizens initiatives to combat hate speech and misinformation and there is space for plenty more.  


Solution 4 : Quality Journalism 

High quality independent journalism, based on verified facts is not easy to produce. It requires solid funding models which provide financial stability while allowing journalists to report critical on all sources of power. The traditional business models for journalism have been comprehensively dismantled in recent years and it is crucial we find new solutions to let journalists continue their work.

Press Freedom Conference 2020

22 January, 2020, 9:00 ECS Europejskie Centrum Solidarności



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