Archive item

Title: Press Freedom a Loser in Viktor Orbán's Winner-Take-All Hungary
Other/original title:
Publisher: / South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO)
Files: Press Freedom a Loser in Viktor Orbán's WinnerTake-All Hungary.pdf
Abstract: In this 'expert opinion' for the website, Paula Schriefer, Vice President for Global Programs of Freedom House, reviewed and criticized the new Hungarian media legislation, as well as the "the government’s arrogance in responding to widespread international criticism" about the laws. Noting that she was part of a delegation of freedom of expression organizations which just conducted a mission to Hungary, she writes that "journalists we spoke with .. claim that they are already engaging in self-censorship to avoid legal penalties or punitive actions by media owners who have agreed to the broad content restrictions". The new laws, she summarizes, have many troubling features: "Not only does the legislation put in place a new regulatory structure with excessively broad authority and questionable independence, it also provides limited possibilities for judicial review of the decisions made by that body, which has the ability to issue or suspend licenses, monitor media content, and issue fines and levies .. At the same time, it provides overly broad language on prohibited content. .. The legislation extends registration requirements to print and online media, a step that sharply contrasts with internationally accepted norms, and greatly expands the circumstances under which journalists can be forced to reveal their sources. Finally, the new regulatory regime has developed a model of co-regulation that amounts to outsourcing censorship to media owners in exchange for immunity from fines".
Publication/ adoption date: 2011-12-02
Language: English
Rights: by the South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO). Permission for reproducing the document granted by email.