One of the most important developments or events in the unit's history
The largest event CMDS helped organize in the past years was Internet at Liberty 2010 on September 20-22, 2010. The international conference, co-sponsored by Google and Central European University, addressed the complex issues facing the development of the Internet as a global, free, and open space. The event, which brought together activists, journalists, bloggers, policy makers, industry representatives, regulators, and researchers committed to digital rights advocacy and the future of freedom of expression online, continues to resonate in the field of freedom of expression community as a pivotal turning point in the movement.
Since 2008, CMDS has hosted its Annual Summer School Program, a summer course for students, emerging scholars, researchers, activists, policy makers and journalists from around the globe as part of the CEU Summer University program. The topics covered over the years include democratization and the media, media development, communication policy advocacy, internet governance and online campaigns.
The most important development in 2014-15
- CMDS launched the Virtual Center of Excellence for Research in Violent Online Political Extremism (VOX-POL) research project, a 60-month project supported by the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme. (Lead researcher: Kate Coyer, director of the Civil Society and Technology Project for CMDS).
- Coyer launched the Keleti Wifi project, a grassroots initiative to help refugees access free wifi and mobile phone charging
- The Center, in partnership with the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the European University Institute, conducted a collaborative project aimed at strengthening practical support mechanisms for journalists in Europe, the "Strengthening journalism in Europe" project. Specifically, it focused on enhancing legal support and resources for European journalists and media outlets facing threats and violations of their editorial freedoms and freedom of expression rights. The project was co-financed by the European Commission, under the Commission's European Centre for Press and Media Freedom pilot program framework (Lead researcher: Amy Brouillette, director of the European Media Project at CMDS).
- CMDS completed the Creative Approaches to Living Cultural Archives project (CAPTCHA) which aimed at promoting European collaboration between community media organizations and to promote the concept of "open content" and innovative digital exchange and distribution. The project was supported by the Culture Program of the European Union's Directorate General for Education and Culture (Researchers: Joost van Beek, research fellow at CMDS and Kate Coyer).
- The Center continued its work on the Hungarian media environment by launching the Hungarian Media Ownership: A Network Analysis project, supported by the Open Society Foundation's Program for Independent Journalism (Lead researcher: Amy Brouillette).
Other important developments in 2014-15
- The Center was re-launched from the Center for Media and Communication Studies to the Center for Media, Data and Society.
Engagement with external entities in 2014-15
CMDS has collaborated with the Center for Global Communication Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania (co-organiser of the annual summer school program), SHARE Foundation, Serbia (co-organiser of the "Gaining a Digital Edge: Journalists, Watchdogs and Freedom of Expression 2.0"conference), OSCE Mission to Serbia (co-organiser of the "Gaining a Digital Edge: Journalists, Watchdogs and Freedom of Expression 2.0"conference), the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the European University Institute (lead partner in the "Strengthening journalism in Europe" project), Dublin City University (lead partner in the Virtual Center of Excellence for Research in Violent Online Political Extremism (VOX-POL) project), the Open Society Foundation's Program for Independent Journalism (supporter of the Center's annual summer school program, and of the "Hungarian Media Ownership: A Network Analysis" project), and Freedom House (co-organiser of the "The troubled state of press freedom in Central Europe" public event).
Faculty distinctions in 2014-15
Major events in 2014-15
In academic year 2014/15, CMDS held 14 events within the framework of the "Media and Change Series," a lecture series that provides a space for reflection and discussion about media, communication and technological transformations taking hold, featuring distinguished guest lecturers such as Cory Doctorow (author, journalist), Helen Margetts (Oxford Internet Institute), Christian Sandvig (University of Michigan) and Jillian York (Electronic Frontier Foundation), and CMDS fellows and affiliated faculty.
The training and networking conference "Gaining a Digital Edge: Journalists, Watchdogs and Freedom of Expression 2.0" on November 21-23, 2014 was attended by more than 90 journalists, media lawyers and civil society representatives from 14 countries. The aim of the event was to discuss strategies for navigating the technological and regulatory challenges of the new digital media environments, including best practices in the fields of digital security and data protection, and digital tools and technologies that enable journalists and watchdogs to gather, process and present data and to respond to evolving cyber threats to online speech. The conference was part of the Center's project, "Strengthening Journalism in Europe," conducted by CMDS and the Center for Media Pluralism and Freedom at the European University Institute in Florence, with co-financing provided by the European Commission under the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom pilot program framework.
In March 2015, CMDS hosted the "VOX-Pol Workshop on the role of social media and Internet companies in responding to violent online extremism" with the participation of nearly 40 experts from policy making, human rights groups, activists, law enforcement, social media companies, and academia. The fundamental aim of the workshop was to put the role of social media and internet companies in responding to violent online extremism in a broader perspective, in order to gain a better understanding of the inter-relations between internet governance, the role of technology companies as political intermediaries, and end-users.
"The troubled state of press freedom in Central Europe" panel discussion on May 21, 2015 saw panelists (researchers, journalists and Freedom House's experts) discuss the state of media freedom in the region in a global context based on Freedom House's Freedom of the Press 2015 report highlighting regional and global threats to independent journalism.