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MFRR Summit | State Capture: Undermining Independence of Media Outlets and Regulators

17. March 2021 @ 13:30 - 14:30


Threats to journalists, media workers and outlets come from a myriad of sources. Some are easy to track, others are cloaked in bureaucratic and legal processes aimed at obscuring scrutiny of attempts to undermine media pluralism and consolidate state power. Governments across Europe have perfected a way to target media freedom through the capture of independent media outlets and regulators. Whether this is done through back-door nationalisation through the sale of outlets to state-owned and controlled companies, or the actions of government-friendly regulators to abuse legal powers to silence critics or undermine independent ownership of outlets, the impact on media freedom is hard to track, but undeniable. Looking at examples from Slovenia, Hungary and Poland, this panel, chaired by the International Press Institute (IPI), looks to cast light on these processes that jeopardise media pluralism and plot its expansion across Europe.


  • Petra Lesjak Tušek, Društvo novinarjev Slovenije (Slovenia)
  • Veronika Munk, Telex (Hungary)
  • Adam Bodnar, Commissioner for Human Rights (Poland)
  • CHAIR: Scott Griffen, International Press Institute (Austria)

Veronika Munk

Veronika Munk is a Hungarian journalist, founder and Editor-in-Chief of independent online news daily, Telex. She was the Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Index online news daily, where she has worked for 18 years, until she quit in July, 2020 together with her 80+ colleagues because, due to political influences, their independent journalistic operations were no longer in place. She has a media studies PhD and teaches courses on journalism at ELTE University, the largest Hungarian university.

Petra Lesjak Tušek

Petra Lesjak Tušek is a journalist and editor at daily Večer and has been the president of the Slovene Association of Journalists since 2015. She started her career as a journalist correspondent at national radio (Radio Slovenija) and was awarded for outstanding achievements of young journalists. Petra also has experience in the field of research and academic work – researching marginal social groups, and is the co-author of the book Immigrants, who are you, published by The Peace Institute. She collaborated with the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana as an external lecturer at the News Reporting Practical Course.

Scott Griffen

Scott Griffen is IPI’s Deputy Director, who joined IPI in 2012 as press freedom adviser focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean. As deputy director, he helps manage IPI’s long-term project work and press freedom advocacy, and oversees IPI’s external and internal communications. He holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Yale University and a master’s degree in global ethics from King’s College London.


17. March 2021
13:30 - 14:30
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