28 November, Media and change discussion series: Miklos Haraszti on media governance in Belarus

Miklos Haraszti

This Thursday, Miklós Haraszti will present the fourth session of the CMCS's Fall 2013 Media and Change Discussion Series to talk about media governance in Belarus. Haraszti is UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Visiting Professor at the CEU Department of Public Policy, and a Research Fellow at the CMCS.

The CMCS Media and Change lunch series aims at creating a space for reflection and informal discussion about media policies, perils, potentials, and practices. We view this as an opportunity for networking with each other and fellow CEU faculty, students, staff and researchers interested in the media, communication and technological transformations taking hold.

Media Governance in Belarus: A Model of Illiberalism

Presentation by Miklós Haraszti

Date: Thursday November 28, 12.45 PM
Location: CEU, TIGY Room (Nador 11 Courtyard)

Among the illiberal democracies of the post-communist era, Belarus has a long list of uniquely sharp features. Its media governance is especially revealing of the final aim of those policies: paralyzing any independent activity in the public space while maintaining a semblance of legality. Belarus in the last decades has functioned as a laboratory of methods used to eliminate pluralism in the media, suppress public debate, and hinder the internet's fermenting effect; strategies that nowadays seem to globally spread in the growing community of illiberal states.

Miklós Haraszti is a Hungarian author, professor, and human rights promoter. His books, including A Worker in a Worker’s State and The Velvet Prison, have been translated into many languages. He has taught at several universities, including Bard College, Northwestern University, the New School, and more recently at Columbia University. He was a founder of Hungary’s democracy and free press movement in the 1970s. As a member of Hungary's parliament in the 1990s, he authored the country's first laws on press freedom. From 2004 to 2010, he was the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. From 2010 to 2013, he headed the OSCE's observation missions for elections in the U.S., in Kazakhstan, and in Bulgaria. Currently, he serves as the UN's Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus.

Last month, Haraszti presented his first report to the UN General Assembly, recalling that both basic and election-specific human rights have been systematically and purposefully curtailed in every Presidential and Parliamentary election in Belarus since 1991. He also appealed to authorities in Belarus to start an immediate moratorium on executions, .

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We are always interested in new ideas for discussion topics and presentations, and encourage volunteers from faculty, students and staff to moderate future sessions.