Arguably, the biggest challenge to media freedom and independent journalism today is the systemic political corruption in which private interests shape the decision-making process in state bodies and institutions. Increasingly, a model of captive, politically instrumentalized news media financed by owners, corporations, social and political groups, or governments, is becoming dominant in most parts of the world. This has severe consequences on independent media and journalism. Against this background, from 26 June to 7 July, 2017, the Budapest-based Central European University (CEU) will run a summer course on “Media Capture: The Relationship between Power, Media Freedom and Advocacy.”

The course will provide participants (researchers, journalists, activists, media practitioners, policymakers, advocates) with an in-depth understanding of the nature of these new power relations and how they influence media and journalism; and with advocacy training to help them play a role in campaigning for progressive media policy and laws in their countries.


Target group

This course is intended for media policy advocates, PhD students, advanced MA students, activists, bloggers, policy makers, media development professionals (drawing from government, civil society/NGOs, foundations), journalists and other media practitioners with a demonstrated interest in understanding the new structures of power that shape journalism and access to information through policy, regulation and funding.



To apply for the course, applicants should have a demonstrated interest in engaging in the course that will have elements of both theory and practice. Accordingly, the organizers ask that all applicants apply with a case study on a matter of some aspect of media and state capture; and/or imbalances of media power; or the relationship between media institutions and corruption.


Applicants should submit the following in one package:

a case study related to the applicant’s home institution/organization work or part of their academic research;
a statement of interest that addresses the relevance of this course to their research, work or field of study;
a CV; and
recommendation letter;
Language requirement

The language of instruction is English. Thus all applicants have to demonstrate a strong command of spoken and written English to be able to participate actively in discussions at seminars and workshops. Some of the shortlisted applicants may be contacted for a telephone interview.



Further information and details on the application can be found here. Please note that applications for admission to the course must be made directly to the CEU and not to OSISA. The deadline for application to the CEU is Friday, March 31, 2017.


Financial aid

The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) will offer financial aid to southern Africans who wish to attend the course. Eligible candidates should be journalists, activists and media practitioners from Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Women and young journalists are particularly encouraged to apply. Successful applicants must have admission to the summer course, eligibility and application details can be found here:https://summeruniversity.ceu.edu/media-2017 . Upon admission to the course, OSISA will select five journalists, based on the relevance of the course for that particular country and the compelling nature of the case study.


The financial aid will cover the following:

Travel and accommodation
Subsistence allowance
Medical insurance


Closing date: March 31st 2017