AGENDA-2020 – Press Freedom Conference 2020

Press Freedom Conference 2020


January 22, 2020

8.30    Registration

9.00    Opening

           Bartosz Węglarczyk, Editor-in-Chief, Poland

           Valdo Lehari jr., Vice-President, European Newspaper Publishers’ Association

9.10    Keynote Press Freedom – why does it matter?

           Lech Wałęsa, former President of Poland, Nobel Peace Prize Winner


The freedom of the pluralist press is one of the basic pillars of a truly democratic society. Journalists were entrusted with a very responsible role in shaping public opinion by providing it with objective information. Free journalism is not risk free. The opposite is true: it is the subject of constant challenges which take different forms. How are verbal attacks of politicians on media freedom influencing the journalistic work? Let’s see examples from all over CEE.

9.25   Keynote „European Report on Verbal Attacks on Journalists”

           Meera Selva, Director Fellowship Programme, Reuters Institute

9.50    Examples Verbal attacks and impact on journalistic work

          Peter Bárdy, Editor-in-Chief,, Slovakia

           Christian Davies, Foreign Correspondent, the Guardian, United Kingom

           Andrew Gray Europe Editor, Politico, Belgium

           Srdan KosovicEditor-in-Chief, Vijesti, Montenegro

           Marko Stjepanovic, Editor-in-Chief, Serbia

10.20  Coffee

10.35  Power speech

           Jerzy Owsiak, The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, Poland

11.00  Interview  It all starts with words… How words lead to actions and how this influences the way of reporting

           Deniz Yücel, Correspondent, Die Welt, Germany

           Kamil Turecki,, Poland

11.20  Power talk If you are not with me, then you are my enemy. Is objective reporting still possible in a polarized debate

          Magdalena Adamowicz, Member of the European Parliament, Poland

           Alen Galovic, Editor-in-Chief,, Croatia

           Katarzyna Kozłowska  Editor-in-Chief, Fakt, Poland

           Peter PetöEditor-in-Chief,, Hungary

11.45  Keynote

          B. Bix Aliu, Deputy Chief of MissionU.S. Embassy in Poland


How to get rid of hate speech? How to address the challenges of today’s information ecosystem? How to ensure that reliable information reaches European citizens? We have to concentrate on finding a solution to the problem of hate speech, misinformation and propaganda. There are different ways to challenge the status quo – let’s have a look at the regulatory perspective, see how technology can help, how community can engage and most of all what the role of media is today. Let’s look for solutions.


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.

            Mina Dennert, Founder, #iamhere network, Sweden

12.30   Lunch


Technology can be a threat, but also a strong ally. How to use technology for greater good? What possibilities do we have in combating hate speech with tech solutions? Let’s see how start-ups address the challenge of attacks on journalists and society.

            Guy Berger, Director, Freedom of Expression and Media Development, UNESCO

            Paul Giannasi, OBE, Police Hate Crime Policy Lead, National Police Chiefs’ Council, United Kingdom


Any social initiative or involvement of technology in the fight against hate speech or fake news will be fruitless without a solid legal basis. The first pieces of legislation to combat these phenomena are already in place in Europe. What could be the implications? Let’s see how Europe is dealing with the regulatory envirnoment.

           Galina Arapova, Director, Mass Media Defence Centre / Vice-Chair ARTICLE 19, Russia        

           Prof. Dr. Franz Hofmann, Chair of Private Law, Intellectual Property Law and Technology Law, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

           Robert Kroplewski, Minister’s Representative for Information Society Affairs, Ministry of Digital Affairs, Poland

           Zied Ounissi, Communication and Press Relations Advisor, DILCRAH (the inter-ministerial delegation to fight against racism, anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT hatred), Government of France, France

           James Shotter, Central Europe Correspondent, The Financial Times

15.05   Coffee


Quality journalism, journalism based on verified facts, journalism that co-creates the reality of functioning democratic systems requires a huge effort. A necessary condition for making such an effort is to have a solid financial background. As a result of increasing changes in the way journalistic content is consumed, the traditional sources of financing for the press are on the verge of being exhausted. We will focus on sources of media funding and how to ensure quality information reaches European citizens.

Panel discussion: Safeguarding independent journalism – in search for solutions

           Aleksandra Karasińska, Editor-in-Chief, Poland

           Stephan Scherzer, CEO, Association of German Magazine Publishers, Germany

           Zoltan Varga, CEO, Central Médiacsoport, Hungary

           Hans-Jorg Vehlewald, Chief Political Reporter, Bild, Germany    

16.20  Closing remarks

           Bogusław Chrabota, President of the Chamber of Press Publishers, Poland

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