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Tag: press freedom

Magyar Narancs: Newsstands Selling Print Media With Only State-Sponsored Ads to Get a Discount

Newsstands that “sell or distribute only media products containing public interest announcements and information related to the armed conflict and humanitarian catastrophe on the territory of Ukraine and preventing their consequences for Hungary” do not have to pay a “public-area use” contribution, writes Magyar Narancs in reference to Government Decree 210/2022 (VI. 14.) on rules for Hungary’s state of emergency. The decree was published in the Official Gazette on Tuesday.

While it is unclear what these type of media products could be in practice, the Hungarian weekly has come to the conclusion that the provision provides a discount to newsagents who only sell print media containing government advertising.

If this interpretation is correct, then it appears to be another attempt to remove non-pro-government newspapers and periodicals from public areas and from being sold in newsstands.

Magyar Narancs claims that non-government-friendly print media has been struggling with distribution problems anyway, noting that several grocery chains do not carry their own periodical. [Népszava]

Press Freedom Getting Worse in Hungary, Says RSF

On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders – RSF) published its 20th annual report on the state of press freedom in 2022.

While Hungary declined eight points on various indicators reflecting the state of press freedom in the country, it actually rose from 92th place to 85th place on the list of 180 countries in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index. Hungary’s rise in the rankings despite worsening conditions suggests that the scores of other countries declined even further.

Last July, Viktor Orbán was the first leader in the EU to appear on RSF’s list of “enemies of press freedom,” which includes 37 heads of state and government such as Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin, who the organization claims “in a particularly drastic way embody ruthless repression of the freedom of the press.” [Telex]

43% of Hungarians Say Press Not Free in Hungary

A plurality of Hungarians believes that there is no press freedom in Hungary today and that the situation has deteriorated in the past few years, but Fidesz voters see things a little differently, according to a new poll conducted in the V4 countries by the Czech Economia media group.

43% of Hungarians surveyed said that the press is not free because of government interference in the work of journalists. 27% said it was somewhat free, while 30% felt that Hungarian media was completely free.

However, more than half of the Fidesz voters in the survey, 58%, believed that there was press freedom in Hungary, and only 15% thought that there wasn’t. [Telex]