Experts in Media and Journalism

Amelia Arsenault is an assistant professor of communication at Georgia State University. Her academic research focuses on how different international and domestic actors have attempted to leverage the changing dynamics of communications systems, and the ramifications of those activities for international relations, political and social power relationships, and north/south inequality.  While a resident fellow at CMDS, she worked on a book project that explored the nascent industry of digital “information warriors,” who provide contract services to political actors seeking to influence the online media agenda. Her co-edited book The Connective Mindshift (with Rhonda Zaharna and Ali Fischer) on the subject of networked public diplomacy was released in May 2013.  In addition to her affiliation with CMDS, she also serves as the Media and Democracy Research Fellow at the Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

Amy Brouillette is the research and editorial manager of the Ranking Digital Rights project and a resident research fellow at CMDS. Prior to joining RDR, Amy served as director of the European Media Project at CMDS, responsible for developing and managing the Center's research and projects related to media and freedom of expression rights in Europe. Along with managing research, her work involved organizing and leading networking and training activities aimed at strengthening digital and freedom of expression rights, working in collaboration with key partners at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and digital rights groups. In addition to her work at CMDS, Brouillette has also served as a research consultant and scholar-in-residence at the Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS), Annenberg School for Communications, University of Pennsylvania.

Attila Bátorfy is a journalist working for the investigative journalism site Átlátszó.hu, and former editor of Kreatív magazine and Vs.hu. He is a resident fellow at the CMDS. He is also the founder of Databánya, a blog and community on data journalism and visualization. As the editor of Kreatív, Attila investigated and analyzed media ownership, the state capture of the media market, state advertising and governmental influence on the sector. Recently, he has been working on media-related and data-based projects with organizations such as Transparency International, the Association of Hungarian Content Providers, Mérték Media Monitor, and the investigative journalism site Átlátszó.hu and the Center for Independent Journalism. Attila teaches courses on data journalism and freelancing at the Department of Media and Communication of Eötvös Loránd University has also taught at the Department of Communication Studies of Budapest Metropolitan University.

Dean Starkman is a fellow at CMDS and a visiting lecturer at the School of Public Policy at Central European University, Budapest. He is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, 2014), an acclaimed analysis of business-press failures prior to the 2008 financial crisis. A longtime journalist, media critic and scholar, Starkman has won many awards for his writing on finance, media, and the business of news in an age of digital disruption. Most recently, he was the Wall Street correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, reporting on the intersection of finance and society from New York.  An investigative reporter for more than two decades, Starkman covered white-collar crime and real estate for The Wall Street Journal and helped lead the Providence Journal's investigative team to a Pulitzer Prize in 1994.

Des Freedman is professor of communication and media studies at the Goldsmiths University of London. He is interested in the relationship between media and power together with the political and economic contexts of media policymaking, regulation and reform. He was a founding member and recent chair of the Media Reform Coalition and was project lead for the Inquiry into the Future of Public Service Television chaired by Lord Puttnam. He is a former editor of the Sage journal 'Global Media and Communication' and has edited several strands for openDemocracy including ‘Anti-austerity and media activism’ (with Natalie Fenton and Gholam Khiabany), ‘Liberalism in neo-liberal times’ (with Gholam Khiabanay, Kate Nash and Julian Petley) and ‘Capitalism and universities’ (with Michael Bailey). His latest books include Misunderstanding the Internet (2nd edition, Routledge 2016, with James Curran and Natalie Fenton) and The Contradictions of Media Power (Bloomsbury 2014).

Ellen Hume is a Boston-based journalist, teacher and civil society activist who works on the front lines of democracy around the world. Before moving to Budapest (2009-2016) where she mentored journalists and founded a project on Roma integration, she was research director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT (2008-9), and creator of the New England Ethnic Newswire (2007-2009). Hume’s analysis of why independent journalism hasn’t done well in post-Communist countries “Caught in the Middle: Central and Eastern European Journalism at a Crossroads”  was published in 2011 by the Center for International Media Assistance. Her earlier report “Media Missionaries” was the first comprehensive study of U.S. efforts to train foreign journalists, published in 2004 by the Knight Foundation. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the advisory aboard of the Center for International Media Assistance, the Center for Media, Data and Society at Central European University, and DIREKT36, a Hungarian investigative reporting group.


Joost van Beek has been a research fellow at the Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS) at CEU since September 2009. Prevously, he worked at the EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program (EUMAP) of the Open Society Institute, and Mira Media, a Dutch NGO that promotes the representation of minorities in the media. He was a researcher for the project "CAPTCHA – Creative Approaches to Living Cultural Archives".  He was also co-author of the Hungary country report for the Internet Freedom Report 2014, which was published in March 2015 by Transitions (TOL) and PASOS (Policy Association for an Open Society). He was a contributing researcher and editor of the 2012 CMDS study, Hungarian Media Laws in Europe, and co-author of a chapter on Community Radio in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Opportunities and Challenges in the book Communication and Community: Citizens, Media and Local Governance in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2010).

Marius Dragomir is the director of the Center for Media, Data and Society. He previously worked for the Open Society Foundations (OSF) for over a decade. Since 2007, he has managed the research and policy portfolio of the Program on Independent Journalism (PIJ), formerly the Network Media Program (NMP), in London. He has also been one of the main editors for PIJ's flagship research and advocacy project, Mapping Digital Media, which covered 56 countries worldwide, and he was the main writer and editor of OSF’s Television Across Europe, a comparative study of broadcast policies in 20 European countries.

Silvia Chocarro Marcesse is a consultant on freedom of expression and media development issues for international organizations and NGOs. She is currently global advocacy strategist for IFEX, providing strategic advice to the international network of more than 100 NGOs defending free speech worldwide. She also worked for the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), editing a toolkit on international standards on freedom of expression and access to information. Silvia is also a journalist. From 2013 to 2017 she was the US Correspondent for Radio France Internationale (RFI) – Spanish Service –where she covered the latest US elections. She recently moved to Paris where she will continue to report for RFI on media freedom issues. From 2009 to 2013, she worked at UNESCO managing projects related to the promotion of freedom of expression and free, independent and pluralistic media. While at UNESCO, she participated in the development of the UN Plan of Action on The Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity and its implementation strategy.

For the full list of experts, including the Center’s team, resident and non-resident fellows and partners, see CMDS Team.
For more information on our consultancy services, please contact Marius Dragomir, our center’s director.