Whom to trust

Public trust in media is breaking down. Admittedly, in many countries there was no golden age to return to – distrust and uncertainty are a survival strategy. Mercy Abang, Péter Krekó and Lina Chawaf talk credibility, hidden agendas, and what professions they want their kids to avoid.

Political fragmentation is constantly rising. We experience less and less of a shared reality across society. Some people are afraid of migrants – others of losing their homes. Some people don’t believe COVID exists – some religiously believe in science and objectivism. Yet others attribute anything they don’t understand to ancient aliens.

Our societies are more saturated with media than ever before. The proliferation of content for the sake of content makes it that much harder for the viewers to identify relevance. This upheaval, this destabilization of meaning is what happens every time a major technological shift pushes society out of its established habits.

A few decades ago, digital progressives used to promise a new age, where the internet and its amenities would bring about freedom, and democracy, making our lives easier and more enjoyable. Today, most media diets are dominated by garbage adverts, political propaganda and a constant, pounding noise from content farms.

Who can we blame for all this? Today’s guests have some insight to offer.

Mercy Abang is an award-winning journalist from Nigeria. She’s a media entrepreneur, co-managing director and CEO of Hostwriter, based in Berlin, Germany.

Lina Chawaf is a Syrian journalist, and founder of Radio Rozana broadcasting in Arabic to a Syrian audience both in Syria and in the diaspora. She’s working from Gaziantep, Turkey.

Péter Krekó is a political scientist and social psychologist at ELTE University. He is the director of Political Capital Institute a Budapest-based independent think tank. He’s also a long-time recurring author and friend of Eurozine.

We meet with them at the spectacular library of the School of English and American Studies at the Eötvös Loránd University, in the heart of Budapest, Hungary.

Creative team

Réka Kinga Papp, editor-in-chief
Merve Akyel, art director
Szilvia Pintér, producer
Zsófia Gabriella Papp, executive producer
Margarita Lechner, writer-editor
Priyanka Hutschenreiter, project assistant


Hermann Riessner  managing director
Judit Csikós  project manager
Csilla Nagyné Kardos, office administration

Video Crew Budapest

Nóra Ruszkai, sound engineering
Gergely Áron Pápai, photography
László Halász, photography


Nóra Ruszkai, lead video editor
Kateryna Kuzmenko dialogue editor


Victor Maria Lima, animation
Cornelia Frischauf, theme music

Hosted by the Library of English and American Studies at the Faculty of Humanities at ELTE University in Budapest

Further sources

Images used

Plato and Malala Yousafzai from Filckr. Young girl reading here, more girls reading here, a suffragist there and determined women everywhere. Really, everywhere.

Captions and subtitles

Julia Sobota, Daniela Univazo, Mars Zaslavsky, Marta Ferdebar, Olena Yermakova


This talk show is a Display Europe production: a content-sharing platform soon to premiere.

This programme is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and the European Cultural Foundation.

Importantly, the views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and speakers only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the EACEA can be held responsible for them.


Published 7 December 2023
Original in English
First published by Eurozine

© Standard Time production / Eurozine /Display Europe



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