Program 2019

Overcoming the challenges posed by social media: How to make it work for social change?

EPRIE aims to share and exchange perspectives and experiences between East Asia and Europe. In 2018, we examined the challenges posed to the media sector by populism and post-truth politics. This year, together with media practitioners, actors from civil society, scholars and politicians, we will focus on social media as a tool for social change.

Social media allows us to develop ideas, collaborate across borders, find new ways to participate and encourages political action. It empowers people to make their voices heard, and to call on their governments to make change. However, there are also many challenges associated with the use of social media, including the spread of disinformation, the way it is affecting media business models and the negative impact it’s having on young people’s health and behavior. Social media can also serve as a tool for manipulation, contributing to division, confusion, insecurity and fear.

We will cover three main areas during the conference. First, we will explore the different forms of social media and how they are used in Europe and East Asia. How are platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Weibo, and TikTok affecting societies? What are the differences and similarities.

Second, we will look at how governments relate to social media. What impact does social media have on administrations and which laws have been passed to regulate the various platforms and protect their users?

Third, we will examine which challenges we need to overcome to make social media work for social change. We will discuss ideas with experts in the field and visit media and civil society organizations to explore what they do. Furthermore, we will develop our own ideas and strategies around how we can use social media to implement changes in our society. We will find out regional differences and explore what fruitful cooperation between Asia and Europe could look like in this context.

The program takes place in East Asia (Japan and South Korea) from June 26 to July 7, 2019. It consists of:

3 days of preliminary program with  introductory session,

5 days of sessions with intensive peer to peer exchange on the topic and visits to organizations in Tokyo, Japan,

4 days of sessions with alumni in Paju, South Korea.

If you intend to apply for the program, please read more about the application procedure on our website: