Archive of entries posted on

Ringier ups capital of Hungary’s top left-wing daily

Swiss multinational Ringier is giving a capital boost of HUF 750 million (roughly EUR 2.5 million) to the left-wing newspaper Népszabadság, Hungary’s top news daily, which is currently operating at a loss, HVG reports. Ringier’s decision comes after its failed deal to sell its majority shares of Népszabadság to the Szabad Sajtó Foundation, which is run by […]

The EC asks for public input on possible new EU-wide media regulations

The European Commission has opened public consultations for citizens and groups to comment on whether to adopt new EU-wide media  regulations, including a measure addressing the independence of media regulatory bodies. The announcement comes as policy makers and civil society groups call for stronger EU-wide regulations on media independence and pluralism in order to ensure that common democratic […]

Media Council put in charge of selecting winner of state’s top journalism award

In order to avoid repeating mistakes made during this year’s nomination for the recipient of the state’s top journalism prize, the Media Council will be responsible for selecting the winner of the Táncsics Prize in the future, according to a March 21 statement by Human Resources Minister Zoltán Balog. The announcement followed a week of controversy […]

Kroes calls for more changes to Hungary’s media laws

Issues of media freedom in Hungary “are not yet solved,” said European Commissioner Neelie Kroes last week at a seminar on media freedom and pluralism in Dublin, adding that “only a fraction of the Council of Europe recommendations have been implemented.” The Council of Europe’s May 2012 assessment identified a wide range of provisions in the Hungarian media […]

Top public media adviser stirs controversy over anti-Roma and far-right Facebook posts

Beatrix Siklósi, chief cultural adviser to the head of Hungary’s public media management body, the MTVA, sparked controversy this week after Hungary’s top economic weekly HVG published a screen shot of Siklósi’s Facebook page, which contained an anti-Roma joke, a post honoring Hungary’s interwar leader responsible for mass deportations of Hungarian Jews, and articles from Hungary’s far-right […]

Far-right reporter agrees to return state’s top journalism award

TV presenter Ferenc Szaniszló, who is known for espousing anti-Roma and anti-Semitic views during his broadcasts, has agreed to a government official’s request to return the state’s top journalism prize. On March 14, Hungary’s Human Resources Minister Zoltán Balog  awarded the prestigious Táncsics Prize to Szaniszló, a presenter on the pro-Government station Echo TV, sparking domestic and international outcry. […]

Journalists protest state award for far-right TV presenter

Several journalists have returned their Táncsics prizes in protest of the government’s decision to give the state’s highest journalism award to TV presenter Ferenc Szaniszló, who has made numerous anti-Roma and anti-Semitic remarks during his broadcasts. Szaniszló, a commentator for the government-friendly station Echo TV, has described the Roma as “parasitic ape-like people” and blamed the loss of Hungary’s Battle of […]

Klubrádió wins frequency fight

The Media Council has named Klubrádió the winner of the 95.3 MHz frequency, following a lengthy legal battle with the opposition radio station. The Council’s decision comes after a series of successful court verdicts for the broadcaster, including a March 5 ruling by a Budapest court, which found that the Media Council’s decision to invalidate Klubrádió’s tender bid was unlawful and its […]

Hungarian lawmakers pass disputed Constitutional amendments

Hungarian lawmakers on Monday passed a package of controversial amendments to the country’s Constitution that opponents say weakens democratic checks and balances and violates the rule of law. The Fourth Amendment puts into law numerous measures that were introduced by the center-right Government and later annulled as unconstitutional by Hungary’s Supreme Court. The amendment, which contains […]

Media Council warns national TV station for describing Jobbik as ‘far right’ party

Hungary’s Media Council has issued a warning to national private broadcaster ATV for describing Jobbik as a “far-right” party in a November newscast. Jobbik is Hungary’s third-largest party and espouses a far-right nationalist platform. ATV was reporting on a demonstration against a Jobbik MP who called for making lists of Jews in Hungary because he […]

Court rules Media Council’s Klubrádió tender decision unlawful

Opposition radio station Klubrádió has won another court victory against Hungary’s media regulator when a Budapest court ruled on March 5 that the Media Council’s decision invalidating the station’s tender application was unlawful. The decision is one of a series of successful court verdicts for Klubrádió, in what has become a lengthy battle by the station […]

Council of Europe aims to push for more amendments to media laws

The Council of Europe plans to continue its negotiations with Hungarian officials in order to bring the media laws in compliance with Council of Europe freedom of expression standards, according to a letter from Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland to a group of domestic NGOS. The letter states that the Council of Europe […]

Cabinet does not support Fidesz MP proposal that reverses CoE recommendations

The Government says it does not support a proposal submitted by a Fidesz MP last week that would reverse the agreement between Hungarian officials and Council of Europe to limit the mandate of the Media Authority President to a single nine-year term. In January, Hungarian authorities and the Council of Europe negotiated several amendments to the […]

Five international companies boycott newspaper for anti-Roma comment

Five firms with a presence in Hungary have agreed to withhold advertising in Magyar Hírlap until the newspaper rejects the opinions espoused by senior editor Zsolt Bayer in a January 5, 2013 editorial in which he wrote that Roma are “animals” who “shouldn’t be allowed to exist.”