26 May 2017 By Marius Dragomir
For ten years, the Russian government has built media across eastern Europe. They are becoming a fearsome player in the region’s media market.
Last March, far-right British activist Jim Dowson told the Guardian that the website Patriotic News Agency, which he had launched in July 2016 to spread pro-Trump propaganda, has bases in Hungary and Serbia. He said that other such platforms are also based there.
15 December 2016
17 August 2016 By Davor Marko
Public service broadcasters in the Western Balkans have become increasingly unaccountable to their audiences and tone deaf to their needs. At stake is the very legitimacy of public service broadcasting in the region.
Public service broadcasters in the countries of the Western Balkans – Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia – are in crisis.
In Bosnia & Herzegovina, the state-level public broadcaster BHRT announced in July 2016 that it would stop broadcasting its programs due to the lack of funding, highlighting the deep structural crisis of the public service broadcasting system in the country. The decision was later revoked; but the crisis remains.
19 January 2016 By Marius Dragomir
The Internet has become the new heaven for unheard voices, new forms of commerce and limitless communication across eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. But who owns the companies providing this service? Many of these owners are unknown, others are linked with politics and some are dubious characters embroiled in criminal investigations.
A decade ago, the internet was the realm solely of the progressive, technically savvy, often nerdy youth in many countries of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. But today, people who in the 2000s didn’t even have a computer regularly browse through their favorite news sites, email and buy their groceries online.
Since 2000, internet usage in the Czech Republic has skyrocketed from less than 10% to nearly 80% of the population in 2014, according to data from World Bank. In less advanced economies such as Bulgaria, it has jumped as well to some 56% in 2014 from a mere 5% in 2000. Even in some slowly growing markets such as Armenia, over 46% of the people used the service in 2014, a gigantic leap from a mere 1.3% in 2000.
But who is behind the telecom groups that provide this service?