Press Release


25 Years After: The Challenges of Building the Post-Communist Media and Communication Industries

Prague, November 20-22, 2014

KEYNOTE and Transitions are organizing a special conference entitled “25 Years After: The Challenges of Building the Post-Communist Media and Communication Industries.”  The event will address the transition of the media and communication industries in the post-communist countries of Europe and Eurasia since 1989. The event will take place on November 20-22, 2014 at New York University in Prague (Malé náměstí 11, Prague 1).

The conference, which will feature over 50 distinguished speakers, aims to bring together scholars, media and communications practitioners, and representatives of NGOs working in the region and engage them in joint discussions on topics such as media ownership and freedom of expression, media assistance, and the role of new media.

“Academics and working journalists don’t often mix,” said TOL Executive Director Jeremy Druker. “So we decided to create a rare opportunity where researchers on the media’s transition would sit side-by-side on panels with journalists experiencing that very transition from the inside. The resulting debates should be fruitful for both groups, especially as we consider the role of the media in forging democracy.”

Two keynote panels will be held as part of the conference:  “What Has Been the Role so Far of the Media in the Transition to Democracy” (Friday, November 21, 9:15 – 10:45) and “Can We Talk About a Successful Transition of the Media from the Communist Model to What We See Today?” (Saturday, November 22, 9:15 – 10:45). Keynote speakers include Jeffrey Gedmin, former president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty;  Jiří Pehe, director of New York University in Prague; Jan Urban, a journalist and one of the leading dissidents in 1989; and Grzegorz Piechota, head of Editorial Development and Social Campaigns at Gazeta Wyborcza.

“The ongoing development of free, independent media in Central and Eastern Europe is of utmost importance.  Accurate, reliable information and vigorous, responsible debate are crucial to the health of democracy. These things help us fight corruption, keep government accountable and civil society vibrant,” said Gedmin, now the CEO and president of the Legatum Institute.

In order to gain press accreditation for the conference, please send an email containing your contact information to by November 19, 2014.

Tomáš Bendl
PR Coordinator

tel.: +420 739 422 835

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