Ellen Hume is a veteran journalist, teacher, and media developer who has been working for the last seven years in Budapest, Hungary. Now Boston-based, she continues as a research fellow at the Center for Media, Data, and Society at Central European University, and an adviser to Direkt 36, a Hungarian investigative journalism news collaborative. She also founded and supervises the Hungarian arm of Not In Our Town, which mobilizes documentary film and civil society to challenge hate speech and discrimination. An international journalism trainer since 1993, she authored the first comprehensive analysis of American media development abroad, “Media Missionaries” for the Knight Foundation in 2004. Additionally, she analyzed why independent journalism didn’t fare better in post-Communist countries in a 2010 report for the Center for International Media Assistance, “Caught in the Middle”.
Before moving to Budapest in 2009, Ellen was the Research Director at the Center for Future Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab. Directly before that, she founded the Center on Media and Society at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she taught communication courses and published an online summary of New England’s ethnic news media, the New England Ethnic Newswire. Previously, she served for five years as executive director, visiting lecturer, and senior fellow at Harvard University's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy. She was executive director of PBS's Democracy Project, where she developed news programs for American public television that encouraged citizen involvement in public affairs. Before she became a teacher, Ellen was a White House and political correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, local and national reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and regular commentator on PBS's Washington Week in Review and CNN's Reliable Sources programs. Her other monographs analyzing U.S. journalism practice included two prize-winning reports: “Tabloids, Talk Radio and the Future of News” (1996) for the Annenberg Washington Program and “Campaign Lessons for ‘92” for Harvard’s Shorenstein Center.
Ellen has conducted journalism and press freedom workshops in the Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Hungary, Mauritius, Poland, Russia, Seychelles and other countries. She was a trainer for the Committee of Concerned Journalists in newsrooms across the United States. She has a B.A. from Harvard and honorary doctorate degrees from Kenyon College and Daniel Webster College. A former Internews board member and consultant, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an incorporator of Harvard magazine.