The media is often described as the fourth estate, referring to the role of journalism as a counterbalance to the legislative, executive and judiciary branches. To fulfil this role, the media reports, verifies and questions public matters and government affairs that are conducted by the other powers. The current time of misinformation and fake news urges both the European and the national media to interpret its counterbalancing role even more carefully than before.
With special regards to the upcoming elections to the European Parliament in May 2019, the various European and national media bear the responsibility of contributing to public opinion formation by means of independent and trustworthy public information. However, current illiberal tendencies and blurring boundaries between factual and fictional modes in many European states raise questions about press freedom and aggravate independent journalistic work substantially.
In light of the many upcoming challenges described above, the “Visegrád-Journalists” dialogue programme of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung brings together journalists from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, in order to stimulate critical and fruitful discussions with stakeholders from government, media and civil society.
Contact: Agnes Mach, ep-dialog(at)fes-europe.eu