Resident Fellows

Fardin Alikhah is Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Guilan in Iran. He holds a PH.D in sociology from Allameh Tabatabaei University, Tehran. His research interests are social media, celebrity, city, gender, everyday life, lifestyle changes, consumer culture, dance, fashion, music, car culture, and public spaces. Parallel to teaching at the university, he has been trying to bring sociology beyond the university and share it with non-sociologists and non-academic audiences. His public writings are widely followed on Persian social media. Geographically, his studies focus on Iranian society. He is interested in studying Iranian everyday life with an interdisciplinary approach. He has published various articles in academic journals and translated several books into Persian. He is hosted by CMDS through CEU’s Visiting Research Fellowship. His research topic is Media Consumption and Acculturation Among Immigrant Iranians. He was a Fellow at the center in 2014 and his research “A Brief History of the Development of Satellite Channels in Iran” was published in Global Media and Communication Journal.

Attila Bátorfy is a journalist working for the investigative journalism site Átlátszó.hu, and former editor of Kreatív magazine and 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.

Ian M. Cook is a Research Fellow at the Central European University (Budapest). An anthropologist with a regional focus on south India, he works primarily on cities, new media and doing academia differently. He has published work on topics including small cities, housing, vigilantism and land. He is keen to open up universities, which he does (hopefully) by both making academic podcasts and teaching others how to make them, and as part of an access programme for refugees and asylum seekers. He likes to work with sounds, images and texts. His current research projects include – urban change in Mangaluru (India), academic podcasting, corruption and environmental damage in Hungary, digital media, and urban justice in Europe. At CEU he currently works at the Centre for Media Data & Society, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy and OLIve.
Personal website: The City as a River
Podcast (co)host @ Online Gods & New Books Network
Co-founder @ CEU Podcast Library 
Editor @ Allegra
Project sites: UrbanA & Black Waters
LinkedIn // Twitter
Research:  // Google Scholar // Research Gate

Zselyke Csaky is Research Director for Europe and Eurasia at Freedom House and oversees Nations in Transit, an annual survey of democracy from Central Europe to Central Asia. Her research interests focus primarily on the politics of Central Europe and on the state of the media regionally and globally. She has written extensively on issues of democratic governance and press freedoms in Central Europe and the Balkans and co-hosts In Between Europe, a podcast focusing on the region. Prior to joining Freedom House, she served as researcher in different capacities at other international organizations. She is a CEU alumna and discovered the beauty of law when applied in privacy and freedom of expression cases while doing her master’s in Human Rights.

Jovana Davidović is a teaching assistant and a doctoral student at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Montenegro. She obtained an MA degree at the Department of Political Science at Central European University, where she investigated the relationship between authoritarian submission and party preferences in Montenegro. Jovana received CEU’s academic excellence award, and the best MA thesis award. She was a coordinator of the international project Executive Approval Database (2017-2018) for Central and Eastern Europe, and a president of the Montenegrin Association of Political Science Students (2015-2016). Jovana was associated with several public and private Montenegrin media. As an awardee of the Montenegrin Ministry of Science, Jovana currently investigates patriarchal attitudes and media representation of gender roles, with a specific focus on sex-selective abortion in Montenegro. Her research interests include psychology of communication, media, political psychology, political communication, psychological and political anthropology.

Zsuzsa Detrekői is a TMT lawyer and a part-time academic. She was a consultant of OpenNet Initative at Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University for several months in 2007 and 2008. She was the general counsel of major Hungarian online content provider Currently she is legal counsel of a major ISP in Hungary. She also provides legal support for the Association of Hungarian Content Providers. Her research area is online content and internet related regulations about what she wrote her thesis on and achieved PhD in 2016.

Miklos Haraszti is a Hungarian author, professor, and human rights promoter. His books, including A Worker in a Worker’s State and The Velvet Prison, have been translated into many languages. He was a founder of Hungary’s democracy and free press movement in the 1970s. In 1989, he participated in the "Roundtable Negotiations" on the transition to free elections. As a member of Hungary's parliament in the 1990s, he authored the country's first laws on press freedom. From 2004 to 2010, he directed the media freedom watchdog institution of the 56-nation Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Recently, he headed the OSCE's observation missions for elections in the U.S. and in Kazakhstan. He has taught at several universities, including CEU, Bard College, Northwestern University, and the New School. In the past two years, he gave courses on global press freedom issues at Columbia University.

Jessie Labov is a Resident Fellow in the Center for Media, Data and Society, a member of the Digital Humanities Initiative, and the Project Coordinator of the Text Analysis Across Disciplines Initiative. Before coming to CEU she was Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at Ohio State University. Recent publishing projects include a co-edited volume with Friederike Kind-Kovacs, Samizdat, Tamizdat and Beyond: Transnational Media During and After Socialism (Berghahn 2013), and a monograph entitled Transatlantic Central Europe: Contesting Geography and Redefining Culture Beyond the Nation (forthcoming, CEU Press 2019). In addition to writing on Polish film, Yugoslav popular culture, and Central European Jewish identity, she has also worked on a variety of digital humanities projects concerned with issues of canon formation, text mining, and visualizing the receptive pathways of literary journals. Courses at CEU: Beyond Illustration: New Approaches to Research and Teaching with the Digital Humanities (Fall 2017); Data Collection and Curation (University-Wide Course, Fall 2017); Mining History: Digital Practices in Humanities Research (Winter 2018); Introduction to Text Analysis from Close Reading to Machine Learning and Applied Text Analysis from Close Reading to Machine Learning (University-Wide Methods Course, Fall 2018). in July 2019 she will co-direct the CEU Summer University Course Cultures of Dissent in Eastern Europe (1945-1989): Research Approaches in the Digital Humanities.

Jozef Michal Mintal is a PhD student in International Relations at Matej Bel University. He is also the Co-founder of the UMB Data&Society Lab, where he is currently the IBM CARWST Research Fellow, working under the Cognitive Analytics for Real-World Security Threats (CARWST) research project funded by IBM. Jozef’s research focuses on the interaction of digital technologies with society. His is currently involved in research projects on computational propaganda, and in a project on mapping disinformation websites together with the Centre for Media, Data and Society at the CEU. His PhD dissertation focuses on the weaponization of content volume and content diversity levels on digital platforms in the V4. Prior to pursuing his PhD he worked at senior positions in various NGOs in the field of foreign and security policy, and start-ups.

Adil Nussipov is a researcher working on a project aiming to map the global data governance and to identify the design of the global data governance architecture. He also works on the Media Influence Matrix project at the Center for Media, Data and Society and acts as Global Governance Editor at E-International Relations. He graduated with distinction from Central European University with an MA in International Relations. Before CEU, he obtained his BA degree in Political Science and International Relations at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan. He has extensive experience in qualitative and quantitative research, gained through studies, research assistantships and internships. His research interests are global data policy, government-media relations and global governance. He also acts as Head of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation at Accountability Initiative for Reform, a non-profit organization in Kazakhstan.

Dean Starkman is a resident fellow at Center for Media, Data and Society 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.

Judit Szakács is a researcher with a background in sociology, journalism, and English language and literature. Her main research interests include minority media and minority representation in the mainstream media as well as in social media. She has collaborated with scholars in international research projects in a variety of topics. In addition, she works as a media monitor, which provides her with valuable insights into contemporary practices in the Hungarian media. She volunteers as a contributor to the Hungarian corruption database compiled by K-Monitor.

Veszna Wessenauer is a Research Analyst with Ranking Digital Rights, working on Index research. She holds an MA in Human Rights from Central European University, where she focused on issues related to internet governance and media freedom. Prior to joining RDR, she worked with several Hungarian and international NGOs, including as a policy analyst for Political Capital, a Hungarian think tank focused on democracy and rule of law in Central Europe. The focus of her work has been on internet governance, digital rights, disinformation, active citizenship, and civic engagement. She has also previously served as a research fellow at the Center for Media, Data and Society (Central European University – School of Public Policy), researching topics related to journalistic source protection, online privacy and data protection, and online political extremism. Veszna currently lives in Budapest, Hungary.