Media freedom and media pluralism: the role of social media in modern democracies on the two sides of the Atlantic

Media freedom and media pluralism: the role of social media in modern democracies on the two sides of the Atlantic

7 comments

Uncertain Times: The Future of Trans-Atlantic Relations from the Perspective of NGOs and Think Tanks in Central Europe and Hungary

- online webinar series organised by the Hungarian Europe Society -

First Debate: Media freedom and media pluralism: the role of social media in modern democracies on the two sides of the Atlantic

 

9 November 2020, Monday 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. (CET)

The debate is available on our YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

 

Welcome address by István Hegedűs, chairman, Hungarian Europe Society

Panelists

Miklós Sükösd, associate professor, Department of Communication, University of Copenhagen

Flóra Garamvölgyi, freelance journalist, Los Angeles (USA)

Václav Štětka, senior lecturer in Communication and Media, Loughborough University

Moderator: Erik Uszkiewicz, vice-chairman, Hungarian Europe Society

Short briefings are followed by an open debate.

 

For the corresponding papers please scroll down. Register on our Open Space platform, or sign in if already registered, and share your comments in the comment section below this text.

 

This event is part of the "Uncertain Times: The Future of Trans-Atlantic Relations from the Perspective of NGOs and Think Tanks in Central Europe and Hungary" project which is supported by the Embassy of the United States of America in Budapest.

Please note that the language of the event is English and no translation will be provided.

This event is being video recorded for archival, educational, and related promotional purposes. By attending or participating in this event, you are giving your consent to the video recording.

Relevant Open Space Publication
AttachmentSize
PDF icon Invitation129.9 KB

There are 7 Comments

Gothár Emma's picture

Dear Friends,

please add your comments to "Media freedom and media pluralism: the role of social media in modern democracies on the two sides of the Atlantic" and to the corresponding papers below!

Hegedűs István's picture

1. Instead of a Clash of Civilizations, we have witnessed a strong cultural/political cleavage within civilizations, populations, nations and large communities as well as a sharpening polarisation. Does the media - and especially the social media - represent or create/accelerate these conflicts about values, identities and ideologies? Is this new phase of interplay between politics and media dangerous for our societies or there is nothing really new about this development? Do we need a common, "neutral", objective narrative instead? Did we have such a "golden age" before at all? And what if nostalgia and resentment lead us back to real (ideological) wars? Moreover, we should not forget about all the positive impacts of the Internet on our lives and the political processes.

2. Don't you think that words we chose to use matter a lot? Concepts like empires as agents can easily lead us to historically problematic categories like colonization (as Böröcz does), although the EU is exactly the counter-thesis (at least according to its mission) to the tradition of former nationalist, big European powers of the past? We should prefer new notions for new phenomena: soft and smart power, for example? Actually, accessions - and enlargement - were based on the voluntary will of the people without violent territorial occupations. Even if inequalities and conflicts between East and West might survive in many spheres today, is it really an unsuccessful story as populists often portray the re-unification of Europe?  

3.  Pan-European news or entertainment television network: sure, small in size, in resources and in reach-out. But we have high quality media like the BBC, France24, German public TV-s for mostly national audiences inside the EU. There is no such big federalist project on the media field like the euro (called the single currency). The EU - in many senses - is not a state (not even represented in the Security Council where Britain and France are members.) Should the EU really challenge Microsoft, Facebook or Netflix based on the concept of European sovereignty? How much would it cost to the European taxpayers? What if these US based technological, entertainment and social media giants are not simply American - aren't they global? Should we really fight against the influence of Hollywood? Don't you think that co-existence, cooperation with the US on the one hand, finding technological niche, on the other, would be a better option for the future for the EU – and not a "Clash of Empires"? Shouldn't we focus rather on Russian and Chinese influence together with a new Biden administration?

Pavel Antonov's picture

Vaclav: indeed, empires are evil :) But are we doomed to chose between state control (China) or corporate control (US)  forever? Miklos' final suggestion of a European public service social networking service cuts across normative orders of  journalism and social networking, and across state and private ownership/control. People's trust is at stake - in their governments (e.g. fighting Covid); in the facts and information reported/shared; and in each other (rather than fake news and propaganda). Isn't Europe suited to, yet again, lead into a new trust-based model, perhaps based on core EU principles such as solidarity, equality, democratic participation and, indeed egalitarianism?

Gothár Emma's picture

The importance of disinformation and fake news are constantly overemphasized, without referring to the self-cleaning capacity of information flow. They are primarily symptoms, and not causes.

Gothár Emma's picture

Europe is the ideal middle ground between the mess (USA) and the Orwellian nightmare (Communist China). Europe has health care and freedom of enterprise at the same time, but without antivaxxers or social credit system. I think, this is because European people have the healthiest relation to the state: they enable it to protect them from themselves, without its overextension to private life. There are differences, where trust lies: French for example trust the state more, Eastern Europeans trust academics more, still there is trust, it is everywhere. Therefore I think, that regulating social platforms in line with the interest of the users is compatible with the EU principles. Even an EU-centered social media platform might be viable. Yet, a unified European political notion is needed to make that happen. Facebook is an American invention and there's VKontakte, which is a Russian platform. It seems, that around 180 million people can sustain a social platform. Consequently, if the EU had a uniformly regulated, enterprise-friendly inner market, it would be feasible."

Pages

Uncertain Times: The Future of Trans-Atlantic Relations from the Perspective of NGOs and Think Tanks in Central Europe and Hungary
- online webinar series organised by the Hungarian Europe Society -
Second Debate: Transatlantic ties: American - (Central)...

The research group of the Hungarian Europe Society presented its third report entitled "What Does the PERC Indicator Show?" about the attitudes of the Hungarian political parties towards the European Union on 28 March 2018 at the Center for...