Activists in the Print It Yourself! movement have reached their 1,000 Hungarian settlement, announced Editor-in-Chief János L. László in Székesfehérvár, where around a hundred people left from to take the latest issue of the newspaper into nearby small towns.
The underground weekly, which is printed out on both sides of an A4-sized sheet of paper, has been published continuously for the past four and a half years, and is hand-delivered to locations where it is hard for local residents to access information that may be contrary to what the government wants them to hear. It can be downloaded, printed, and distributed by anyone from its website, nyomtassteis.hu.
On its site, Print It Yourself! details the rationale for why it engages in delivering news old style in the modern day:
Besides democratic backsliding, media has undergone radical restructuring. Hungary has slipped to 87th place in RWB press freedom ranking (=Sierra Leone). 90 percent of outlets are in the hands of oligarchs allied with PM Viktor Orban, TV and radio channels, print and online papers.
Our answer is: distribute and deliver news and information through a samizdat–style movement in the digital age.
A statement released by the grass-roots organization notes that in addition to locations in Fejér County, a similar mass distribution event was organized in Hajdú-Bihar, Nógrád, and Pest Counties this past weekend. Between 50-100 activists in each of these locations fanned out to distribute the latest issue of Print It Yourself! to residents living in small towns. On Saturday, the movement notched the acheivement of its 1,000th settlement when activists arrived in the town of Vácszentlászló.
Their hope is that from mid-February they will have a regular weekly presence in these towns. But to do this, the movement will need to double the number of activists it currently has, now standing at 1,600. They are currently recruiting new activists to help them, and are open to anyone willing to devote even just a single morning to hand-delivering their newspaper from now until the election on April 3.
János L. László also announced that the underground news movement will be making 106 special editions of its newspaper for each of Hungary’s 106 electoral districts, which will support the campaign to gather signatures for nominating the united opposition’s candidate in each district.
Since the media empire controlled by government-friendly figures continues to block news about Hungary’s political opposition, they believe it is their job to help voters make an informed decision on election day based on a complete set of information.