Archive item

Title: Hungary’s media law is unacceptable despite amendments
Other/original title:
Publisher: Reporters Without Borders
Files: Hungary’s media law is unacceptable despite amendments.pdf
Abstract: In this statement by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) of March 8, 2011, the organization "takes note of the amendments to Hungary’s controversial media law" that were adopted the day before in response to demands by the European Commission, but argues that "the core of the problem remains, since the composition and attributions of the all-powerful Media Council remain unchanged". The statement describes the amendments, but points out their limited nature: for example, "the Hungarian media will no longer have to get accreditation from the authorities before they start broadcasting," but they will still "have to do so within 60 days of kicking off their operations, [..] or face a fine of 3,700 euros". Similarly, the range of offences punished by the law "has been restricted slightly", but journalists must still respect unspecified notions of public morality and human dignity "or face astronomical fines". Most importantly, RWB argues, the Media Council "emerges unscathed" although it is this body, with its "utterly disproportionate attributions", its government-friendly membership, and its right "to demand from media organizations any number of confidential documents" which is at the heart of the controversy. RWB therefore calls on Hungary to still urgently adopt the recommendations by the Council of Europe and the OSCE as well.
Publication/ adoption date: 2011-03-08
Language: English
Rights: Copyright Reporters Without Borders. Rights statement (provided by email): "The content of this press release belongs to Reporters Without Borders. It can be used freely with a mention to the organisation."