Shortly after Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the term “fake news” went viral as a way to discredit and vilify media. According to a recent piece by the New York Times he tweeted the phrase more than 600 times. Since then dozens of world leaders have followed suit in attacking investigative and independent journalists in their countries. Moreover, a wave of disinformation and fake news influenced the results in both the 2016 US elections and the EU referendum in the United Kingdom.

Political leaders who do not respect media freedom as well as working in an environment where propaganda and fakery are dominant is nothing new to journalists from Eastern Europe. Thirty years after the collapse of communism, they have learned how to survive in a hostile climate where corrupt officials and media repression have been the norm. What could Western media learn from journalists working in a hostile media environment? Could the experience and knowledge of journalists in Eastern Europe help Western fellow journalists to better navigate a turbulent political and media landscape? What are the challenges when building niche and independent media in countries with little history of that?

The speakers will share their hard-learned lessons, tackling issues varying from political pressures to crumbling trust and entrepreneurial pains.