The Commission on Media Policy was founded under the name “Commission on Radio and Television Policy” to encourage democratic policies and practices. Today, the Commission brings together media practitioners, managers, and experts in both the public and private sectors from more than 25 countries in Central, East, Southeast, and West Europe and the United States to discuss and debate alternatives for media policymaking. The Commission was founded by former US president Jimmy Carter in 1990. The idea for its creation was born in the mid-1980s when Prof. Dr. Ellen Mickiewicz and former President Carter discovered the changes in the way the Soviet Union used television in comparison to the past policy while working on issues of international security and arms control. The first official Commission Meeting took place in the autumn of 1991 bringing together media practitioners, experts, and policymakers from both the United States and Russia. Since that date, the Commission meets annually, discusses the freedom, role, and future of the media in the world and makes substantive recommendations on a range of policy issues. During the years, the Commission’s focus expanded to include East and West Europe and the United States, as well as the European part of the former Soviet Union, which opened access to a far broader range of models with which to consider policies for democracy and media. The Commission has a number of publications designed for use by journalists, scholars, and others interested in the relationship of democracy and the media. The guidebooks of the commission represent one of its most often noted results. The first of these, Television and Elections, is available in more than a dozen languages and is widely used in parliamentary debates and decision-making processes. Three additional guidebooks have been published, Television/Radio News and Minorities, Television, Radio and Privatisation, and Television Autonomy and the State. Ellen Mickiewicz, Director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at Duke University, and Erhard Busek, former Vice Chancellor of Austria, former Coordinator of the Stability Pact for South East Europe and today Coordinator of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative, co-chair the Commission’s annual meetings. SEEMO is organising and coordinating the event since 2013.


– November 1992, Alma Ata, Kazakhstan: Television News Coverage of Minorities

– November 1993, The Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia: Changing Economic Relations Arising from Democratization, Privatization, and New Technologies

– September 1994, St. Petersburg, Russia: Broadcaster Autonomy and the State

– October 1995, The Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia: Pluralism in the Electronic Media: The Role of Technology

– September 1996, Salzburg, Austria: Principles and Paths for Democratic Media

– September 1997, Vienna, Austria: Globalization and Public Broadcasting

– October 1998, Vienna, Austria: Television and Political News.

– October 1999, Vienna, Austria: Globalization and Political News

– November 2000, Vienna, Austria: Bridging Old and New Media

– October 2001, Vienna, Austria: Global Media, Expanding Choices, Fragmenting Audiences: Dilemmas for Democracy

– October 2002, Vienna, Austria: Crisis and the Press, Balancing Civil Liberty, Press Freedom and Security

– October 2003, Vienna, Austria: Media Dilemmas: Covering Ethnic and Other Conflict

– October 2004, Vienna, Austria: Media Coverage of Corruption, Crime, and Economic Development

– October 2005, Vienna, Austria: Media Regulation, Censorship, and the Potential for Corruption: Practices Protecting or Controlling the Public

– October 2006, Vienna, Austria: The News Abroad: Foreign Conflicts, Foreign Publics, & Foreign Coverage
– October 2007, Vienna, Austria: Time to Change or Stand Fast?

– November 2008, Vienna, Austria: Covering Resident Immigrants Who Stay in Our Countries

– October 2009, Vienna, Austria: Standards of Evidence

– October 2010, Vienna, Austria: News Coverage and Habits of the Mind

– October 2011, Vienna, Austria: Leaks, Streams and Floods

– November 2012, Vienna, Austria: Falling Fences: Are There Any Boundaries the Press Must NOt Cross

– October 2013, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina: Media Situation in South East and Central Europe

– October 2014, Skopje, Macedonia (RoM-FYROM): Strengthening the Press under Pressure of War and Repression with Special Diskussion about Media Situation in Ukraine. Guest speaker: Danilo Türk, former president of Slovenia

– November 2015, Bucharest, Romania. Guest speaker: Danilo Türk, former president of Slovenia

– November 2016, Belgrade, Serbia, Guest speaker: Sasa Jankovic, Serbian Ombudsman

– November 2017, Sofia, Bulgaria