Media Conference 2019: Off the Beaten Track!

Thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, 15th anniversary of the EU Enlargement, 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership – 2019 was a year that put a special spotlight on Eastern Europe. A year for retrospectives, evaluations and conclusions.

Public discourses of disillusionment, disappointments, and vanishing euphoria on both sides are counterbalanced by the discourse promoting the need for patience and tolerance for decelerated or even reversed democratic developments in "the East". Recent political and social upheavals are habitually brought into usual historical and geopolitical frames, quickly labelled as pro-Russia or pro-EU and explained by manipulations, if this is not the preferred frame. Thus, old patterns of divided Europe are constantly being reaffirmed – with the media actively contributing to this process.

Time to abolish the concept of Eastern Europe?

At the fourteenth n-ost media conference, we challenged these frames – we went “off the beaten tracks” and discussed the ways we look at things and concepts and questioned our own roles and habits: How can we manage to design our own work processes in a way to avoid routine judgments? Is it possible to venture radically new concepts of perception in reporting, which would go beyond old borders, without ignoring historical peculiarities and losing the necessary critical faculties? What is the role of journalism in times of big challenges for Europe and the world?

The city of Chişinău itself is far from the usual European routes. At the time of the conference, a new government was working hard in order to break with the corrupt past and make the country more attractive for the younger generation. We had discussions with local journalists, politicians, activists, and artists that helped us to better understand the recent developments as well as needs, hopes, and obstacles Moldova faced at that particular moment.

Hungarian journalist Lukács Csaba (behind his newspaper) explains to Krisztian Simon how his newspaper survives in Hungary.

We went off the beaten track together!

n-ost invited all conference participants to go on a European Road Trip and turn a journey to Chișinău into an exciting 1-2-day adventure. The idea was simple. Let's choose an eco-friendly way of travelling, take sometime off our busy calendars and get to know other journalists.

During the road trip journalists were encouraged to use their preferred social media channels to share impressions as they slow-travel through Eastern Europe. Of course, we have collected all pictures, Instagram posts and tweets.

Participating journalists

Check out all the participating journalists listed here. This is what brings them together.

See all network members

Cooperation partner