2023-12-07

BUDAPEST - "If local democracies are the cornerstone of democratic societies, local and regional media constitute the foundation of a healthy and pluralistic media landscape."

For centuries, local and regional media have been at the heart the lifeblood of European democracies, offering news with a distinctive touch – delivered by journalists deeply rooted in the very communities they cover. Their stories not only serve as vital sources of local information but also contribute to the preservation of the communal spirit that defines smaller towns and villages.

Unfortunately, the tradition of robust local journalism is facing a decline, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. The dawn of the digital age in the early 2000s was just the beginning, as a relentless erosion of journalistic freedom and working conditions ensued. This alarming trend has been exacerbated by a wave of takeovers and captures orchestrated by actors aligned with illiberal regimes in Central European countries.

In this podcast episode, we embark on a journey to unravel the complex web of reasons, patterns, and consequences behind this disconcerting phenomenon. Through interviews with journalists, lawyers, policy makers, and media experts, we delve deep into the machinations of those in power and those valiantly striving to deliver impartial, high-quality local news in the face of challenging circumstances.

Photo by RTiiiKA

Team members

Wojciech Oleksiak

Wojciech Oleksiak is a Polish radio producer, podcaster, composer and sound designer.

Wojciech Oleksiak

Viktória Serdült

Viktória Serdült is a senior journalist in Hungary.

Viktória Serdült

Katy Lee

Katy Lee is a British-French print and audio journalist based between Paris and London.

Katy Lee

Dimitar Ganev

Dimitar Ganev is a journalist and media expert from Bulgaria.

Dimitar Ganev

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