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Media and Technology

Independent media is a pillar of democracy and key to sustaining healthy political engagement and public debate. The Institute extends CEU’s existing research into transparency and public trust in media, the origins and impact of disinformation, and power dynamics that enable or hinder democratic processes. The Institute deepens CEU’s work examining strategies deployed by de-democratizing forces to control media, how changes of ownership structures influence the scope of independent journalism, and how new rules on privacy and freedom of speech impact public debate. 

The Institute also incorporates the Center for Media, Data and Society, founded in 2004 for the study of media, communication, and information policy and its impact on society and practice. Conducted through independent investigation as well as partnerships with academic organizations, think tanks and journalists, the center’s research includes analysis of political, regulatory and policy developments, comparative and data-based studies on the shifts of power in media and journalism, and the interaction between these developments and broader political and social processes, including de-democratization, polarization and corruption. Members of CMDS participate in debates and forums, share expertise with practitioners, researchers and civil society actors, and teach and explain media policy in workshops, lectures and conferences. 

Within this research area, the Democracy Institute has partnered with Ranking Digital Rights to create the Democracy & Digital Technology CoLab to explore the impact of digital platforms and technologies on democratic participation and processes.



Eva Bognar Senior Program Officer
Kate Coyer CEU Research Affiliate / CEU Visiting Professor
Marius Dragomir Senior Program Manager
Dumitrita Holdis Project Officer
Judit Szakacs Research Fellow


State Media Monitor: The World’s State Media Database

Our Center for Media, Data and Society has launched the State Media Monitor, the world’s state media database, the most complete state media database ever built.

Eva Bognar on Why Hungarians View Russia and Ukraine Both Negatively

Our Senior Program Officer and Researcher Eva Bognar talked to the primetime news program of RTL Klub, the TV channel with the largest reach in Hungary, about the impact of government propaganda.

Marius Dragomir on the Consequences of Orban’s Victory

Orban’s landslide victory shows the “dramatic level of manipulation of the Hungarian society by a group of powerful businessmen and politicians” as well as the pro-Russian discourse gaining ground in the past 12 years, Marius Dragomir, Director of our Center for Media, Data and Society said to Hungarian weekly 168 Ora.

Eva Bognar on Disinformation in the Hungarian Election Campaign

Before the Hungarian elections, pro-government media employed “smear campaigns and disinformation – narratives that are in favor of and produced by the government,” our Senior Program Officer and Researcher Eva Bognar told the Los Angeles Times.

Marius Dragomir on Media Capture in Hungary

“As soon as Fidesz won the elections in 2010, they embarked on this process of achieving media capture in the country,” Marius Dragomir, Director of our Center for Media, Data and Society told Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty.


Marius Dragomir on the War in Ukraine and Disinformation

In this video, Marius Dragomir, Director of our Center for Media, Data and Society discusses media information and disinformation amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Democracy’s Least Appreciated Strength Is Its Ability to Reform Itself

In conversation with RevDem editor Robert Nemeth, Dean Starkman, senior editor at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, talks about the Pandora Papers and how tax avoidance and secrecy endangers democracy.

New Podcast: Hybrid Journalism

In the final episode of the CMDS podcast series Down, but Not Out Dumitrita Holdis and Justin Spike discuss with Monia ben Hamadi, editor-in chief of Inkyfada and CMDS Director Marius Dragomir an increasingly popular funding strategy for small, independent media organizations: hybrid business models.

New Podcast: When Journalists Organize and Take Back the Newsroom

In the fifth episode of the CMDS podcast series, Andrea Gálvez, a journalist based in Argentina, takes over and tells the story of Tiempo Argentino's rebirth as a journalistic cooperative.

New Podcast: On How to Launch a Paywall in 2002 and Live to Tell the Story

In the fourth episode of the CMDS podcast series the hosts, Dumitrita Holdis and Justin Spike introduce Malaysiakini, one of Malaysia’s most popular news sites.