Thursday 15 February 2018

12.00 Registration
European Solidarity Center (ECS), Gdansk

13.00 Welcome to Gdansk
Basil Kerski, Director of European Solidarity Center (ECS)

Welcome speeches

Thorbjørn Jagland, *) General Secretary, Council of Europe
Manuel Mateo Goyet, Representative of EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society
Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, President, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

13.45 Pluralism creates and sustains democracy
Key note: Harlem Désir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
Moderator: Patrick Penninckx, Head of Department, Information Society, Council of Europe

  • Pluralism as the driver for an independent media
  • Media financing and preserving the arm’s length principle
  • Preventing public service media from becoming state media
  • Keeping politicians out of the editorial suite
  • How to fight the weaponization of information

Elda Brogi, Scientific Coordinator of the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the European University Instiute (EUI), Florence
Baris Altintas, MLSA founder, journalist and blogger
Monika Valecic, Programme Coordinator, Croatian Journalists’ Association
Marton Gergely, Editor, HVG Weekly, former Editor of Nepszabadsag.

15.15 The latest media developments in Poland
Moderator: Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, President, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

  • Media status in Poland
  • Free media
  • Public service
  • Keeping politicians out of the editorial suite

Alexandra Rybinska, Board member, Association of Polish Journalists (SDP)
Tomasz Milkowski, International secretary of the Main Board, Association of the Republic of Poland (SDRP)
Krzysztof Bobinski, Society of Journalists (TD)

15.45 Break

16.15 Keeping new media and independent journalism from state control
Key note:  Galina Arapova, Director, Mass Media Defence Centre

Moderator: Tomasz Wróblewski, Polish journalist, former Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek Polska, Rzeczpospolita and Wprost.

  • Private media and developing new markets
  • Saving public service media as one of the pillars of liberal democracy
  • Can the big internet giants be effectively regulated at the national level?
  • Innovative youngsters – what is their influence?
  • The future of investigative journalism

Wout van Wijk, Director, News Media Europe
Maja Vasic-Nikolic, Project team coordinator, Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia
Jean Philip de Tender, Director Media at European Broadcasting Union

17.45 Break

18.00 Debate with president Lech Walesa
Interview with Lech Walesa, the former Polish president, and Peace Nobel Prize winner; conducted by Grzegorz Nawrocki, a former journalist of the Polish National Television (TVP).

18.30 Networking

Friday 16 February 2018

9.00 Ethical standards and self-censorship
Key note:  Matthew Caruana Galizia, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist (ICIJ)
Moderator: Kjersti Løken Stavrum, CEO, Tinus

  • Improving Press councils across Europe
  • How to deal with fake news and manipulation
  • Self-censorship
  • Are codes of conduct working?

Marilyn Clark, Professor, University of Malta
Tom Law, Director of Communication, Ethical Journalism Network
Dunja Mijatovic, independent expert; human rights, media freedom
Marina Tuneva, Executive Director, Media Ethics Council Macedonia

10.30 Break

11.00 How legislation violates media freedom
Key note: Scott Griffen, Deputy Director, International Press Institute (IPI)
Moderator: Silvia Chocarro, Senior Consultant, IFEX Network Paris

  • Mapping violations of the media
  • The impact of the Council of Europe safety platform
  • Surveillance – a modern way to harass the media
  • Media legislation on the wrong track
  • Access to information for journalists and citizens

Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz, Chief Coordinator for the Strategic Litigation, Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
Freja Wedenborg, journalist, specialized in legislation regard data
Jodie Ginsberg, CEO, Index of Censorship (IOC)
Flutura Kusari, Legal Advisor, European Centre for Press & Media Freedom, (ECPMF)

12.30 Conclusions and goals for the future

  • Conclusions
  • New challenge
  • New goals

Patrick Penninckx, Head of Department, Information Society, Council of Europe
Scott Griffen, International Press Institute (IPI)
Flutura Kusari, Legal, Advisor, European Centre for Press & Media Freedom (ECPMF)
Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, President, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

13.00 End of Free Media Conference 2018

*) = To be confirmed


The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is the largest organisation of journalists in Europe, representing over 320.000 journalists. 70 member organisations in 44 European countries.