Archive item

Title: Analysis of the Hungarian media legislation
Other/original title:
Publisher: OSCE - Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media
Files: OSCE - Nyman-Metcalf - Analysis of the Hungarian media legislation.pdf
Abstract: This legal analysis of the Hungarian media laws by Professor Katrin Nyman-Metcalf was commissioned by OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović and submitted to the Hungarian government on 28 February 2011. The analysis followed up on an earlier legal review by Karol Jakubowicz, which had been commissioned when the main new media laws were still in a drafting stage, and covers both the Press Freedom Act and the Media Act. The analysis measures the laws by the OSCE standards on media freedom and pluralism and therefore extends beyond the scope of the concurrent assessment by the European Commission, which was limited to issues within the competence of the EU. The review takes into account the amendments being negotiated with the European Commission, and includes recommendations on how to bring the legislation in compliance with OSCE commitments as well. The analysis indicates that the media laws "should be changed in many respects," as they "fail to safeguard media pluralism and the free flow of information." It highlights key problematic issues, such as the legislation's scope over print and online media; the content obligations for all media providers, including those regarding balanced coverage; excessive provisions on hate speech; the new governing structure of the public service media, which "could endanger [their] political independence"; the "very broad powers" of the new media authorities, their questionable political independence, and the weak position of the proposed self-regulatory bodies; the "excessive" registration requirement for all media; and the lack of adequate safeguards of media diversity and pluralism.
Publication/ adoption date: 2011-02-28
Language: English
Rights: Copyright Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Permission for reproducing the material granted by email.