Non-Resident CMDS Fellows
Susan Abbott is the director of Cross-Pollinate Consulting. She has more than 15 years working in the media development and digital rights sector, providing consulting services in the areas of fundraising and development, monitoring and evaluation, project management, and capacity building. As a consultant, she has worked with Albany Associates, the Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy, Fondation Hirondelle, IMS, Internews, IREX, Media Legal Defense Initiative, IWPR, and WAN-IFRA. She is non-resident fellow at CMDS and an adviser for the Communication for Development Network. Prior to becoming an independent consultant Abbott worked at Internews in Washington, DC, and the Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Abbott received her BA from The American University in Washington, DC, and MA from Central European University, and is currently working on her PhD related to measuring the impact of media development programs in transitioning societies at the Communication and Media Research Institute at the University of Westminster in London.
Joan Barata is an international expert in freedom of expression, media freedom and media regulation. He provides regular assistance to different international organizations and entities, including the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Broadcasting Union, the Organization of American States, UNESCO and USAID among others. He has been the Principal Adviser to the Representative on Freedom of the Media at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Dr. Barata is an affiliate to the Center for Global Communication Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Fellow at the Centre for Internet and Human Rights at European University Viadrina. Previously, he has been a professor of communication law and vice dean of international relations at Blanquerna Communication School. He has also been a Professor at the University of Barcelona, the Open University of Catalonia and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, as well as visiting scholar at the University of Bologna and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. His areas of expertise include topics such as freedom of expression, media regulation, public service broadcasting and political and legal media transitions. He has provided assistance to several institutions and organizations regarding these issues in countries such as Thailand, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Albania, Hungary, Liberia, Egypt, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador and the United States. He also has a strong regulatory experience as head of president’s cabinet (2005-2009) and secretary general of the Catalonia Audiovisual Council (2009-2011) and member of the Permanent Secretariat of the Mediterranean Network of Regulatory Authorities (2006-2011).
Binod Bhattarai is a media development and communication consultant. He wrote, edited and produced content for newspapers, radio and television from the mid-1980s till 2009. He has reported for different media in Nepal, and also wrote from Nepal for the Financial Times (UK), and did political and economic analysis for the Economist group. He has trained and taught journalists on conflict sensitive reporting, peace journalism and investigative journalism, among others. He has Master’s Degrees in Business Management (Nepal) and Journalism and Mass Communication (Wisconsin-Madison), and is now a PhD candidate at Tribhuwan University, Nepal. He has taught journalism courses in Nepal and China, and since 2009 he has served as an adjunct faculty at the Ace Institute of Management where he teaches graduate level courses in managerial communications and business writing.
Paolo Cavaliere is a lecturer in Digital Media & IT Law at the University of Edinburgh Law School. Prior to joining the University of Edinburgh, Paolo has been a researcher and Price Media Law Moot Court coordinator at the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policies of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies of the University of Oxford. Other previous positions include Research Fellow at the Center for Media, Data and Society, where he also taught Media and Communications Policies in the MA program in Public Policy; Joint Visiting Researcher at the Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School of Communication and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, USA; Teaching Assistant and Teaching Fellow in Italian Public Law, Italian and European Constitutional Law, Regional Law and Constitutional Justice at Bocconi University, Italy. His main interests in research include the discipline of pluralism and diversity in the media, e-democracy and the relationship between new media and politics, regulation of audiovisual industries and digital media. He has written about different aspects of Media law, including “mediacracy” and the democratic deficit of the EU; media pluralism in the European sphere; digital technologies and the political debate in the public sphere.
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.
Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick is a writer and professor at the Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. He is the author of What Slaveholders Think: How Contemporary Perpetrators Rationalize What They Do (2017) and co-editor of From Human Trafficking to Human Rights (2012). His newest book Protest Tech: How Social Movements Use Disruptive Technology, explores the ways movements use tools and technologies to bring social change. Shorter work has appeared in Slate, Al Jazeera, the Guardian, Huffington Post, and Aeon (as well as in academic journals most people have never heard of).
Lina Dencik is senior lecturer at Cardiff's School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and serves as director for the MA Journalism, Media and Communications and the newly established Data Justice Lab. Her research concerns the interplay between media developments and social and political change, with a particular focus on resistance and globalisation. Recently, she has moved into the areas of digital surveillance and the politics of data and worked on the ESRC-funded project Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society and the project Managing Threats: Social Media Uses for Policing Domestic Extremism and Disorder funded by the Media Democracy Fund, Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundations. She is the author of three books including Media and Global Civil Society (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), Worker Resistance and Media: Challenging Global Corporate Power in the 21st Century (co-authored with Peter Wilkin, Peter Lang, 2015), and Critical Perspectives on Social Media and Protest: Between Emancipation and Control (co-edited with Oliver Leistert, Rowman & Littlefield International, 2015).
Benjamin De Cleen is assistant professor at the Department of Communication Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where he coordinates the English-language master on 'Journalism and Media in Europe'. He has also taught at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. His research is situated within discourse studies and focuses on political rhetoric and on the intersections between media and politics. He has analyzed populist radical right rhetoric, and has worked on the discourse-theoretical conceptualization of populism, conservatism, and nationalism. He is also working on media and the delegitimation of labor unions. A list of publications can be found here: https://vub.academia.edu/BenjaminDeCleen
Amer Džihana is director for Media Policy and Research at Internews in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was a visiting research fellow at CMDS (2009-2010) and worked for Mediacentar Sarajevo (2005-2010). Amer is the co-editor of Media Law in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Internews, 2012), with Mehmed Halilovic, and Media and National Ideologies: Analysis of reporting on war crime trials in the former Yugoslavia (Mediacentar Sarajevo, 2011), with Zala Volcic. Since 2012, Amer has been a regular lecturer at media law and policy workshops at law and journalism faculties in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Francesca Fanucci is an Italian and British lawyer specialised in freedom of expression and comparative media law. She is a member of Internews' Internet Freedom Expert Register and has consulted, inter alia, for the American Bar Association, ARTICLE 19, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the Open Society Foundations Justice Initiative and Media Program, the International Press Institute, Access Info Europe and International Media Support. She is also a surveyor of e-governance policies for the E-Governance Institute at the School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University-Newark, New Jersey, US and is regularly invited by the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford, UK, as a senior judge at the annual International Rounds of the Monroe E. Price Media Law Moot Court Competition. Francesca has also been a legal analyst and researcher in corporate law for global and European public affairs consultancies in Europe, North and West Africa, the United States and South America. She has co-authored ‘WikiLeaks, Secrecy and Freedom of Information: The Case of the UK’, in Beyond WikiLeaks: Implications for the Future of Communications, Journalism and Society (Palgrave-MacMillan 2013) and ‘Digital Television in Italy: From Analogue to Digital Duopoly?’ in the January 2013 issue of the International Journal of Digital Television.
Eszter Hargittai is professor in the Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research at the University of Zurich where she heads the Media Use and Society division continuing to direct the "Web Use Project". She is also fellow of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. Hargittai's research focuses on the social and policy implications of digital media with a particular interest in how differences in people's Web-use skills influence what they do online. Her work has received awards from the American Sociological Association, the Eastern Sociological Society, the International Communication Association, the National Communication Association and the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference. In 2010, the International Communication Association selected her to receive its Outstanding Young Scholar Award. Hargittai is editor of Research Confidential: Solutions to Problems Most Social Scientists Pretend They Never Have" (University of Michigan Press 2009), which presents a rare behind-the-scenes look at doing empirical social science research and co-editor (with Christian Sandvig) of Digital Research Confidential (The MIT Press, 2015), which presents more behind-the-scenes experiences of social scientific research in the digital age. She writes an academic career advice column at Inside Higher Ed called Ph.Do.
Arne Hintz is a lecturer and director of the MA Digital Media and Society at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies (JOMEC). His research connects communication policy, media activism, citizen media, globalization, and technological change. He currently leads the collaborative research project "Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society". He is chair of the Community Communication Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). He has practical experience in journalism, public relations, and media activism. As a citizen media expert and communication rights advocate, he has been involved with advocacy organizations such as the Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE), the Open Rights Group (ORG), and policy fora such as the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Arne was Program Director of the Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS, formerly CMCS) from 2007 to 2009.
Kristina Irion is assistant professor at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam and Postdoctoral Researcher to the project Personalised Communication. Previously, she was associate professor at the School of Public Policy of Central European University and she was a core faculty member at CMDS. Kristina obtained her Dr. iuris degree from Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg (Germany), and holds a Masters degree in Information Technology and Telecommunications Law from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (UK). She was a part time Legal Officer at the Data Protection Authority in Berlin and worked as Senior Regulatory Counsel for a German mobile network operator. Kristina also gained working experience as a trainee at the European Commission in Brussels and she was a visiting fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington. Her research covers EU law, regulation and public policy in the fields of electronic communications, online media, content and services as well as privacy and data protection. As a Marie Curie Fellow she accomplished her individual research project on Governing Digital Information which explores how cloud computing transforms the (legal) relationship between individuals and their personal records. She is intrigued by the combined effects of individuals' online activities and commercial surveillance on society and global information governance.
Philip N. Howard is a professor at Oxford University and the University of Washington and a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. From 2013-2015 he worked as director of the Center for Media, Data and Society and as professor of the School of Public Policy at Central European University. At the Oxford Internet Institute he is managing a 5-year policy project on computational propaganda funded by the European Research Council that focuses on how algorithms are used to manipulate public opinion. He investigates the impact of digital media on political life around the world, and he is a frequent commentator on global media and political affairs. Howard’s research has demonstrated the ways digital media is used in social control and political activism in countries around the world.
Gill Phillips is a media law specialist. She currently works in-house as the Director of Editorial Legal Services for Guardian News & Media Limited (publishers of the Guardian and Observer newspapers and theguardian.com). She advises on a range of content-related matters including defamation, privacy, contempt of court and reporting restrictions. She was a member of the Ministry of Justice’s Working Group on Libel Reform. She was involved in the Trafigura super injunction case and was a member of the Master of the Rolls Injunction Committee. She has advised Guardian News & Media on phone-hacking, Wikileaks, the Leveson Inquiry, the NSA leaks from Edward Snowden and most recently the HSBC files.
Dr Roxana Radu is Programme Manager at the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) and Internet Governance Associate at DiploFoundation. The GIP offers a platform for discussion, a capacity building centre and an observatory covering digital policies at the global level (dig.watch). She received a PhD in International Relations/Political Science from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Switzerland) and an MA in Political Science from the Central European University (Hungary). She is the recipient of the 2017 Best PhD Thesis in International Studies Award (Swiss Network for International Studies) for her dissertation on the global governance of the Internet. Her research and publications focus on socio-technological transformations, international governance, new media and internet policy-making.
Tarik Jusic is executive director and head of the public communication program at the Center for Social Research Analitika. He holds a doctoral degree from the Institute for Media and Communication Studies, University of Vienna, Austria, and an MA degree in Political Science from Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. Previously, he has worked as assistant professor at the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, has been guest lecturer at the European Regional Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democracy in South East Europe (ERMA) of the Center for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies at the University of, where he taught parts of the course on research methods. He has worked as a researcher, program director and program adviser at Mediacentar Sarajevo. Tarik has published a number of academic and professional papers and has edited several books dealing with the development of media in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region of Southeast Europe.
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.
Markos Kounalakis is a print and network broadcast journalist and author who covered wars and revolutions, both civil and technological. He has written three books, Defying Gravity: The Making of Newton (1993), Beyond Spin: The Power of Strategic Corporate Journalism (co-author, 1999), and Hope is a Tattered Flag: Voices of Reason and Change for the Post-Bush Era (2008). He is President and Publisher Emeritus of the Washington Monthly and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a guest foreign policy columnist for The Sacramento Bee and McClatchy-Tribune News. He served as Chairman of Internews Network and for two terms on the Board of Visitors at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He remains active on the Board of Councilors at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; and the Board of Advisors at USC’s Center on Public Diplomacy. His website is: markoskounalakis.com
Becky Lentz is an associate professor of Communication in the Department of Art History/Communication Studies at McGill University in Montreal. She specializes in media policy studies from a civil society perspective. Her research explores the types of expertise that public interest policy advocates need to acquire, mobilize, and teach others in order to build the capacity to effectively influence national and international decision-making concerning information and communication technologies (ICTs) and media infrastructures. Her work is deeply influenced by her experiences before coming to McGill serving as the first program officer for media and technology policy at the Ford Foundation in New York City between 2001-2007. There she designed and directed a multi-million dollar domestic and international grantmaking initiative advancing freedom of expression and social justice through community organizing, legal advocacy, collaborative scholar/activist research, and philanthropic investment in the media policy field. Professor Lentz has also contributed to several edited collections that include the Oxford Handbook of Civil Society; the Blackwell Handbook of Global Media and Communication Policy; the Sage Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media; Inequity in the Technopolis: Race, Class, Gender, and the Digital Divide in Austin; Communications Research in Action: Scholar-Activist Collaborations for a Democratic Public Sphere; and the forthcoming book, Strategies for Media Reform: International Perspectives.
Timothy Libert is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. His research focuses on privacy-compromising information flows on the web, and he is the author of the open-source software platform webXray. He is currently researching the underlying technical mechanisms of online behavioral advertising in the journalism industry. He completed his doctorate at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. He was previously a research fellow at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin, resident fellow at CMDS and the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. Dr. Libert received his B.A. degree from New York University. His work has received international press coverage and he has been interviewed by National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Good Morning America, and other outlets. In addition to numerous academic talks he has spoken at Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) and the c-base hackerspace in Berlin. He has provided expert testimony on issues of online privacy for class-action cases. His publications may be downloaded at his personal website.
Ivona Malbasic was a PhD student at the CEU Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy. She is carrying out research on the role of environmental NGOs in democratization processes in the Western Balkans and the role of the EU in shaping civil society organizations in the region. She managed the Open Society Fellowship program at CEU and was the program coordinator of a research project on anti-Americanism at the CEU Center for Policy Studies. She co-edited a book on The Political Consequences of Anti-Americanism with Prof. Richard Higgott, published by Routledge in 2008, as well as Voice of the People 2007, published by the Gallup International Association. Previously, she worked in international nongovernmental organizations in Central and Eastern Europe, editing major publications, writing policy letters and working on the post-war reconstruction in South East Europe. She authored a training course module on “watchdogging” within the SECTOR program, which aimed at strengthening civil society organizations in South East Europe.
Davor Marko is non-resident research fellow at the Analitika Center for Social Research and a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade, in the domain of culture and communication. He holds an MA in Democracy and Human Rights, a joint degree awarded by the University of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Bologna (Italia). He is the author of many local and regional research papers and publications, and has collaborated with leading academic and research institutions from the region of the Western Balkans and abroad. In his book entitled Zar na Zapadu postoji drugi Bog? (Does another God exist in the West?), he analyzes dominant stereotypes and prejudices on the Islam in the media of the Western Balkans. He is also co-editor of State or Nation? Challenges for Political Transition of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2011). His professional interests include strategic communication, the future of public service media, media and diversity, and the language of the media.
Stefania Milan is associate professor of new media and digital culture. Her research explores the interplay between digital technology and participation, and activism and social movements in particular, cyberspace governance, and data epistemologies. She is the Principal Investigator of the DATACTIVE project, funded through a Starting Grant of the European Research Council (Stg-2014-639379). Stefania holds a PhD in Political and Social Sciences of the European University Institute, and a Master in Communication Sciences from the University of Padova, Italy. Prior to joining the University of Amsterdam, she worked at the Citizen Lab (University of Toronto), Tilburg University, Central European University, and the University of Lucerne, Switzerland, and the Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies (European University Institute). Stefania is also associate professor (II) of Media Innovation at the University of Oslo, and a research associate at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society (Tilburg University), the Internet Policy Observatory of Annenberg School of Communication (University of Pennsylvania), and the Center for Center for Media, Data and Society (Central European University). Stefania is the author of Social Movements and Their Technologies: Wiring Social Change (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013; released in paperback in March 2016), and co-author of Media/Society (Sage, 2011). Her work has appeared in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including Information, Communication & Society, the International Journal of Communication, Internet & Policy, the Internet Policy Review, Social Media + Society.
Amir Mosavi has been assistant professor at the Budapest Business School, University of Debrecen, and Obuda University. He is currently visiting researcher at Norwegian University of Science and Technology where he works on data privacy, predictive decision models, and data marketplaces. Dr. Mosavi received his doctoral degree in applied information technology and data science, and he specializes in machine learning, big data, predictive analytics, and decision support systems. He was visiting scholar at University of Jyvaskyla, Bauhaus University of Weimar, University of British Colombia, Simon Fraser University, Tallinn University of Technology, University of Oslo, University of Graz, London Kingston University, University of Tartu, University of Bayreuth, and Jonkoping University. His work has received various awards including UNESCO Young Scientist Award, ERCIM Award, TU-Darmstadt Future Talent Award, Green Talents Award, IFAC Best Article Award, UNESCO-TWAS Award, GO STYRIA-Karl-Franzens-Universitat Graz Award, Estonian Dora Fellowship Award, Estophilus Award, Campus Hungary Fellowship Award, and Campus France Award. A list of his publications is available here.
Gina Neff is a media and communication scholar whose work centers on the social and organizational impact of new communication technologies. She previously worked as a core faculty of CMDS and as associate professor at the School of Public Policy of Central European University. Trained as an organizational sociologist, her research is at the intersection of concerns about work, technologies, communication and organizing. Her book Venture Labor: Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative Industries (MIT 2012) won the Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on Communication and Information Technologies. With Carrie Sturts Dossick at the University of Washington, she runs the Project on Communication Technology and Organizational Practices, a research group studying the roles of communication technology in the innovation of complex building design and construction. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and she is currently at work on a three-year research project funded by Intel studying the impact of social media and consumer health technologies on the organization of primary health care. She also co-edited Surviving the New Economy (Paradigm 2007). Neff holds a PhD in sociology from Columbia University, where she remains an external faculty affiliate of the Center on Organizational Innovation. She has held appointments at Princeton University, New York University, Stanford University, UC San Diego and UC Los Angles.
Dr. Courtney C. Radsch is the Advocacy Director at the Committee to Protect Journalists. As a veteran journalist, researcher, and free expression advocate she writes and speaks frequently about the nexus of media, technology, and human rights. She is the author of Cyberactivism and Citizen Journalism in Egypt: Digital Dissidence & Political Change (Palgrave Macmillan 2016) and several other book chapters and articles about the Arab Spring, media, terrorism, and human rights. Her commentaries and articles have been published in The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Al Jazeera, Oxford Analytica, and the Huffington Post. Dr. Radsch has participated in expert consultations at the United Nation, OSCE and E.U. on countering violent extremism, online violence against women, and journalist safety, and has led advocacy missions to more than a dozen countries, U.N. bodies, and the Internet Governance Forum. Prior to CPJ she worked with UNESCO's Section for Freedom of Expression, where she coordinated strategy in the Arab region and edited the flagship publication "World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development." Dr. Radsch previously managed the Global Freedom of Expression Campaign at Freedom House, where she edited Policing Belief: The Impact of Blasphemy Laws on Human Rights. She speaks Arabic, French, and Spanish and can be found on Twitter at @courtneyr.
Sandra Ristovska has recently received her PhD in communication at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania and she is currently George Gebner post-doctoral fellow. Her dissertation has been selected as outstanding dissertation of the year by the National Communication Association (NCA) Visual Communication Division. Her research explores the role of video in public discourse and policy deliberations with a particular focus on human rights video advocacy. She is a recipient of the Top Paper Award from the International Communication Association (ICA) and the Herbert Schiller Prize from the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). She has written for the World Policy Institute Blog, Public Books, American Journal of Sociology and The Communication Review. She is a co-chair of the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN) of IAMCR.
Marta Rodríguez-Castro (Santiago de Compostela, Spain) holds a degree on Audiovisual Communication from the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC, Spain) and a Master’s Degree on Research applied to media from the University Carlos III de Madrid (Spain). She is currently a PhD student on Contemporary communication and information at USC, where she is part of the research group “New Media” and she collaborates with the research project “Governance, funding, accountability, innovation, quality and public service indicators of European Public Service Media applicable to Spain within the digital context”. Her main research line is the critical and comparative analysis of public value tests across Europe, although she has also approached issues regarding public media funding, production, proximity media, pluralism and identity.
Lidija Sabados’ research focuses on community media practices and policies in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Previously she worked as an editor, translator and advocacy coordinator at an international press freedom organization and she has been involved with the work of the Citizen Lab. At the moment, she works as associate project officer for UNESCO’s Support to Media in Jordan project that aims to help Jordan’s efforts in advancing the Jordanian media to further increase its freedom, independence and professionalism.
Julia Sonnevend is assistant professor of sociology and communications at the New School for Social Research in New York. She has held fellowships at the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam, and the Yale Center for Cultural Sociology in New Haven. Her scholarship lies at the intersection of media studies, the sociology of culture, and international relations, and focuses on the “re-enchantment” of society, on the magical moments, qualities, technologies and artifacts of contemporary social life worldwide. Sonnevend’s work aims to show that we are far less rational in our political, social and mediated lives than we imagine ourselves to be. In her first book, Stories Without Borders: The Berlin Wall and the Making of a Global Iconic Event (Oxford University Press, 2016) she writes about how particular news events become lasting global myths, while others fade into oblivion. Focusing on journalists covering the fall of the Berlin Wall and on subsequent retellings of the event (from Legoland reenactments to the installation of segments of the Berlin Wall in shopping malls), Sonnevend discusses how storytellers build up certain events so that people remember them for long periods of time. She also shows that the powerful myth of the fall of the Berlin Wall still shapes our debates about separation walls and fences, borders and refugees, most recently in the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe.
Primavera Téllez Girón García has dedicated much of her professional life to support the development of public policies, as well as promoting the reform of the laws that regulate the right to information; media, broadcasting, telecommunications and internet in Mexico, to achieve a more democratic society. Her work is firmly rooted in reaching social justice and the respect of human rights (right to information, freedom of expression, privacy) empowering civil society through advocacy and raising investigations with a trans-disciplinary perspective, and for this she has been involved professionally with congressmen, grassroots groups, non-profits and civil society organizations, politicians, journalists, lawyers, academics and researchers. Her research, with a trans-disciplinary point of view, is focused on analyzing the capture of media systems and industries in Latin America and untangling the knots of the difficult relations between media (broadcasting and newspaper companies; public media; telecoms and technology manufacturers; internet providers; community media) and power (politicians, regulation, governments, businessman, industries, organized crime) and how it impacts society and communities.
Rian Wanstreet is special projects manager for Access Now, a digital rights organization that defends and extends the rights of users online - especially those most at risk. In that role, she consults with the Policy team on external positions, and provides strategic external support on multiple projects. She also runs the RightsCon Summit Series (rightscon.org), an annual conference which brings together civil society, engineers, activists, lawyers, companies, and governments on the subject of the internet and human rights. Prior to joining Access, Rian worked for CMDS on topics such as consumer privacy, net neutrality, spectrum regulation, and internet governance. She was an Erasmus Mundus Scholar from 2009 to 2011, has an M.A. in Public Policy from CEU, and an M.A. in Public Administration from the University of York, UK.