Grantees in the spotlight

digital public sphere

Platforms’ algorithms and recommender systems are dangerous for democracy

For citizens to participate fully in democratic processes, they need to be able to make informed decisions. In the last decades, the internet made information more accessible than ever. Paradoxically, however, we seem to be getting less and less information of public interest while being shut in online eco-chambers that reinforce our views and prevent us from holding healthy and fruitful dialogues.

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independent journalism

Independent journalism as a precondition for democracy

While journalism is under threat across the world, journalists are courageously taking on investigations, sometimes at enormous costs to bring information of public interest to citizens. They bring to light the shadiest practices and speak truth to power. Recently, publications regarding two global investigations, the Pandora Papers and the Pegasus Project hugely impacted the international community. Direkt36, a Hungarian grantee partner of Civitates, played an important role in both these investigations.

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civil society

Independent public-interest journalism and CSOs collaborating for stronger democracy

In many countries, both media and civil society organisations (CSOs) face the same challenges such as restricted access to information, smear campaigns, legal and practical limitations for accessing funding, as well as limited space for the exchanges of best practices – all a result of the shrinking civil space. Collaboration between journalistic organisations and CSOs can counter those trends, advance their work, have a powerful societal impact, and strengthen democracy.

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Further Stories

Enjoying the internet while staying safe online

BIRN, together with SHARE foundation, has been monitoring how digital rights violations in Central and South-Eastern Europe are impacting democracy and human rights even before the pandemic changed people’s lives. With the pandemic, however, they saw a tremendous growth of rights violations linked to Covid-19.

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Keeping a media light on: lessons from Hungary

Under Hungary’s present government, many independent or critical voices in the media have been silenced. Yet journalists have built new business models to go on holding the powerful to account. The founders of investigative news site Direkt36 see leaders elsewhere emulating Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and want to share what they’ve learned.

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Regional solidarity could ease the political tension in Hungary

The government campaign against civil organisations in the last few years has caused major damage to the sector in Hungary. The local initiatives in cities and towns across the country have withdrawn and are focusing on rather apolitical activities. Stigmatised CSO’s, especially in pro-governmental cities are isolated from public or civic co-operations.

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