On the Protection of Journalistic Sources

Gill Phillips, Director of Editorial Legal Services for Guardian News & Media Limited writes about protecting journalistic sources.

Best Practices and Tips for Using Confidential Sources

Gill Phillips, Director of Editorial Legal Services for Guardian News & Media Limited writes about practical considerations for journalists who use confidential sources.

On the Road to more Transparency: Access to Information under Article 10 ECHR

Dirk Voorhoof on the freedom of expression and access to information under Article 10 of the European Court of Human Rights.

The Autocrat Inside the EU

August 29, 2014

by Amy Brouilette

"In late July, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivered a bold speech in the Transylvanian town of Tusnadfurdo. His message, articulated at a retreat of Hungarian leaders, was unquestionably controversial; to many observers of Hungarian politics, it was nothing short of galling. Orban announced plans to make his country an "illiberal state," citing some of the world's more repressive regimes -- Russia and China, for instance -- as models.

Why We Like Pinterest for Fieldwork

July 15, 2014

by Phil Howard

Anyone tackling fieldwork these days can chose from a wide selection of digital tools to put in their methodological toolkit.  Among the best of these tools are platforms that let you archive, analyze, and disseminate at the same time.  It used to be that these were fairly distinct stages of research, especially for the most positivist among us. You came up with research questions, chose a field site, entered the field site, left the field site, analyzed your findings, got them published, and shared your research output with friends and colleagues.

Follow the Money! Ownership & Financial Transparency should be a Media Policy Standard

May 4, 2014

by Kristina Irion

On paper, media policy in Western Balkan countries complies with the standards set by the Council of Europe and the EU aquis. However, a cross-national comparison of case studies from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia (FYROM) and Serbia that I conducted with my colleague Tarik Jusić showed that media systems in these countries have the form, but often lack the substance of democratic media institutions. In particular, we find a worrying tendency for media, politics, and business to form an iron triangle- a self-enforcing power structure serving local, albeit sometimes competing, elites. In such a context, politics and businesses deputize mass media to advance their partisan interests and, with some notable exceptions, mass media ties in with politics and businesses for revenues.

Kounalakis discusses Snowden and capital punishment

January 28, 2014

CMDS Fellow Markos Kounalakis wrote an article in the Sacramento Bee about why the US was unlikely to get Edward Snowden back.

'The heated debate surrounding NSA leaker Edward Snowden usually revolves around two extreme positions: Some consider him a hero and a whistle-blower worthy of clemency, while others consider his acts treasonous and believe he should be subject to the harshest punishment in our penal system.

PM taps right-wing media lawyer to head Media Authority

August 16, 2013

Leaders from across the political spectrum have denounced Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s nominee for president of Hungary’s Media Authority as a  loyal puppet controlled by the ruling Fidesz party and its inner circle of media and business oligarchs. Orbán on Wednesday nominated right-wing media lawyer Monika Karas to serve as successor of recently deceased Annamária Szalai as head of Hungary’s Media Authority (NHMM). Karas has served as legal counsel for Government-linked media outlets Lánchíd Rádió, Magyar Nemzet, and HirTV, and for numerous Fidesz officials, including the Prime Minister’s chief adviser Árpád Habony. From 1993 to 2002, Karas represented Magyar Fórum Kiadó, a publisher which was at the time owned by far-right politician and anti-Semitic writer István Csurka.

Fidesz-linked firm buys national economic daily

August 13, 2013

Fidesz-linked think tank Századvég's Gazdaszágkutató Zrt. (Century Economic Research Inc.) announced this week it has purchased Napi Gazdaság, a top national business and economic daily. Századvég is part of a consortium of companies have been awarded HUF 4.7 billion (EUR 15 million) in state consultancy contracts by the Ministry of National Development (MND) since 2011, HVG reports. The consortium serves as the primary political and economic advisory group to the government and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Hungary's top two TV stations oppose new ad tax

RTL Klub and TV2, Hungary's largest national private TV stations, are protesting a government decision to tax media companies according to their net annual advertising revenues, according to a May 28 article in An announcement from RTL Klub reportedly called the measure “unprecedented in Europe,” and added that the company might leave Hungary over the tax. The graded tax, announced a few days earlier, would hit the major broadcasters hardest. The tax is reportedly part of the government’s effort to make sure the country can exit the EU’s excessive debt procedure.