The Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS) is an independent media research and policy think tank that seeks to improve the quality of media policymaking and the state of independent media and journalism through research, knowledge sharing and financial support.

Our focus

Research is our core activity. We conduct research about the impact of media and information policy on society and practice, particularly journalism. Besides projects that we generate on our own, we partner with think tanks, academics and journalists to conduct joint research projects and investigations.

For more information about our research priorities, see the center’s 2020-2022 Strategy.


We use our research to teach and explain media policy. The center runs courses and workshops at a dozen of universities worldwide, provides trainings and organizes exchanges through workshops, lectures and conferences on current developments in the field.

Our research does not only sit on library shelves.

We take the findings of our research into policy debates and forums and share expertise with practitioners, experts and civil society involved in the policy making process.


We support regulators and market players by providing them expert analysis about policy and legal developments as well as data and information and about media and journalism.

Our reporting includes:

  • Bespoke analysis: firsthand accounts on political changes, regulation and policy developments
  • Country profiles and comparative reports: description of regulatory and policy frameworks and analysis of regulatory trends across a range of countries
  • Data: information about funding and ownership in media and journalism

For more information on our consultancy services, please contact Marius Dragomir, our center’s director.


The CMDS was founded in 2004 as the Center for Media and Communication Studies, an independent research center of Central European University (CEU).

In January 2014, the Center joined the CEU’s new School of Public Policy (SPP). In September 2014 was chartered by the Rector. The same month, the center adopted its current name to reflect the interests and expertise of the faculty and staff, particularly in technology policy. In 2020, the Center joined newly established CEU Democracy Institute.

Since 2021, the Center has been affiliated also with the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) in Spain. Following a series of changes in its affiliation and operations, the center has moved its main office to Santiago de Compostela, Spain from where it runs its research and media development projects across more than 50 countries.

The legacy CMDS website hosting its work since 2004 has been archived on the CEU website.