The Responsibility of Public Service

The new media regulations have transformed the legal framework of public program provision in all important aspects, including organization, financing, and supervision. One of the cardinal flaws of the new law is its omission to expressly provide for a public service mandate. Apart from a handful of declarations, the Code of Public Service, finalized in […]

Forced Maneuver: Proposals and Expectations toward the Amendment of the Media Act

The bill amending the Media Act is expected to be submitted in the weeks ahead. The Constitutional Court gave legislators until May 31st to remedy the omissions it had ruled unconstitutional. The legislative liabilities ensuing from the Constitutional Court Resolution — a ruling that the Constitutional Court ultimately declined to interpret despite repeated requests by […]

Self-Censorship in the Hungarian Press

 The Reins on Freedom: Self-Censorship in the Hungarian Press   Self-censorship is like melted snow.  It will seep under your collar. — Péter Esterházy, in an interview for Der Standard, April 9, 2011   A girl is crying in the newsroom. The place is Hungarian radio on a foggy Sunday night sometime in December 2010. […]

The Media Act – One Year Later

It was exactly one year ago that the Hungarian Parliament accepted the country’s new Media Act which raised so much controversy. Around and after this time, legal and professional organizations and NGOs from Hungary and other countries, including the European Parliament, the OSCE Commissioner for the Freedom of the Press (Organization for Security and Co-operation […]

What is the problem with the media laws?

Systemic politicization of the media system: The most dangerous trend seen in the Hungarian media over the last few years has been the increase in media service providers openly affiliated with political parties. This politicization at an organizational level presents special risks because it extends to entertainment media directed at mass audiences. On the one […]