- Press Releases
On 25 September, the Erich Brost Institute (EBI) for International Journalism of TU Dortmund University staged a top-level conference in Warsaw on the critical situation of the media in Poland. It was funded by the ZEIT Foundation. Professor Susanne Fengler, Director of the Erich Brost Institute, succeeded in attracting representatives of leading Polish media, universities, journalists’ associations and institutions in the field of media policy, parliamentarians and international speakers – among other from the European Council – for the conference. Together they discussed the question: How can journalists and editors in Poland protect themselves effectively against growing political pressure?
Across Europe, developments in Poland are currently being watched with deep concern. One of the key issues is the question of media freedom in view of the growing political pressure exerted on journalism by the PiS government. Is Poland in danger of experiencing a situation like in Hungary?
Already some time ago, the PiS government took control of public broadcasting. In the Polish election campaign, it made the “re-polonization” of the media a subject of discussion – foreign, especially German, media investors in the country are a thorn in the government’s side. And for some time now the setting up of a “media council” has been under debate, which could also exercise considerable influence over private newspapers and broadcasting companies so far independent.
Participants argued for an independent press council
The situation in Poland is extremely complex because supporters and critics of the ruling party find themselves eyeball to eyeball in journalism too: “What we’re experiencing here is a veritable ‘tribalization’ of the media in Poland,” says Professor Boguslawa Dobek-Ostrowska from the University of Wroclaw, a leading Polish expert in media studies, and Dr. Michal Glowacki from the University of Warsaw. The two universities co-organized the debate, and the EBI has worked closely with both researchers for many years.
The conference delegates were unanimous in advocating the establishment of an independent press council as a self-regulatory body in journalism – even if the rifts between the various camps in Polish journalism are deep. “The model of the press council in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina shows how self-regulation can also function despite major political tensions among journalists in a country too,” says Isabella Kurkowski, international media expert and research associate at the EBI. The next concrete step planned at the conference was therefore a “roundtable” to bring together media representatives and international experts.
More and more governments are restricting the freedom of the press
“Our global studies on media accountability currently show that more and more governments are restricting media freedom – this is how ‘media councils’ are set up, which are, however, intended only to camouflage restrictions,” summarizes Professor Fengler. “We not only want to gain new scientific insights through our international activities but also to campaign in practice for media freedom – especially in neighboring Poland.”
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Location & approach
The campus of TU Dortmund University is located close to interstate junction Dortmund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dortmund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dortmund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dortmund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the university are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dortmund.
To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.
TU Dortmund University has its own train station ("Dortmund Universität"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dortmund main station ("Dortmund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The university is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.
You can also take the bus or subway train from Dortmund city to the university: From Dortmund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dortmund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dortmund main station to the stop "Dortmund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dortmund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dortmund Universität S".
The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.
The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dortmund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dortmund Universität S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the university directly with the city of Dortmund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.