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April 6, 2011

SEEMO launches specialised website on press freedom in Hungary

The South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) has launched a specialised website dedicated to press freedom-related developments in Hungary. The website contains news, exclusive monthly reports, legal and political analyses, as well as expert opinions on the Hungarian Media Constitution and Media Act (Media Law) and its subsequent amendments. The website follows political events and debates in Hungary and includes links to information and analyses on Hungary... MORE
March 17, 2011

Thousands march in Hungarian free press protest

About 30,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Budapest Tuesday to support press freedom in the third and largest protest of its kind and despite amendments to controversial laws governing the media, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. The demonstration was organised over the Internet and was much bigger than its January 14 predecessor, which brought out about 10,000 people. The details: [ Link ] The country's parliament voted earlier this month to amend its disputed legislation on issues... MORE
March 9, 2011

Hungary’s media law remains unacceptable despite amendments

Despite positive movement on some of the worst aspects of Hungary’s controversial media, the core of the problem remains, since the composition and attributions of the all-powerful Media Council remain unchanged, says Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF). European governments should make it clear to their Hungarian partner that this vote does not in any way absolve it of its responsibility to make every effort to ensure the legislation conforms to international law,... MORE
February 19, 2011

European Commission response to Hungarian media law described as “inadequate”

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has described as “inadequate” the response of the European Commission’s Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes to Hungary’s controversial new media law and urged the country’s MPs to amend the measure. It said Croes’ demands to the Hungarian government were “in the right direction” but “not enough to remove all the threats to media independence and freedom” since the law was passed on December 23 last year. “The Commission has... MORE
January 8, 2011

Hungary: Newly-constituted media authority takes over investigation into radio station

Hungary's newly-instituted media council (NMHH) took over an inquiry into Tilos radio station launched in September, according to a letter from the council on the station's website. The inquiry relates to the station's broadcast of two songs by American rapper Ice-T in its 17:30 programme. According to the letter from the NMHH, the songs' lyrics were objectionable, and violated sections 5/B. (3) and (2) of the Regulations on Radio and Television Broadcasting, which relate to material which may... MORE
January 8, 2011

IFJ tells Barroso: Defend free speech and media rights

As leading European Union (EU) officials prepare for a mission to Hungary, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), has urged President Manuel Barroso and his team to analyse and change the country's controversial new media law which the Federation claims is a breach of European law and violates principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. EFJ says the EU must examine the law and its implementation, not... MORE
January 5, 2011

Hungary unmoved by EU criticism over media law

Hungary's government insisted Tuesday it would not bow to outside pressure and rethink its disputed media law, even after the European Commission expressed concerns and said it would sanction Budapest if necessary -- even during the nation's EU presidency, according to "It isn't necessary to change a Hungarian law just because it is subject to criticism from abroad," Zoltan Kovacs, state secretary for communication, told national radio. "Before criticising, let's wait and see... MORE
December 14, 2010

Hungarian media law fuels international concern

The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), have expressed concern at a draft law in Hungary that would impose extensive fines against journalists and publishers if they refuse to disclose their sources or publish information deemed inappropriate by the government. The proposed law, if passed, would seriously endanger freedom of the press by creating room for a subjective judgment about any individual news story... MORE
November 9, 2010

Hungary criticised over media secrecy law

Hungary's parliament last week passed another element of a controversial media reform package which will force journalists to identify their sources in stories involving national security and public safety. The law comes into effect on January 1, 2011. If faced with judicial action, journalists would only be able to keep their source secret if such secrecy is ruled to be in the public interest. Also, when the information is deemed to contain state secrets or obtained illegally, the sources... MORE
June 28, 2007

Hungary stands up for investigative journalist who was severely assaulted

The violent physical attack on an investigative journalist in Hungary recently has drawn widespread condemnation from its entire political class as well as the Humgarian society. Hungarian freelance journalist Iren Karman speaks during an interview in her hospital bed in Budapest, Sunday June 24, 2007. The reporter, who became famed after a documentary on so-called 'oil-bleaching crimes' of the 1990's, was found tied up and beaten on the banks of the Danube after making she was kidnapped by... MORE