Szabad Pécs Launches Online Resource Platform for Hungarian Journalists

October 15, 2021

As part of a collaboration with CMDS, Szabad Pécs, an independent Hungarian news site from southern Hungary, launched a free online resource platform for Hungarian journalists. The launch event was an online discussion on journalism training in Hungary.

The resource platform is named Ezzel kezdd (Start here). It is a collection of solutions to the most common practical issues beginner journalists face. It also contains a list of experts with their fields of expertise and contact information.

In the launch event, Gábor Polyák from the ELTE’s Media and Communication Department and Mérték Médiaelemző Műhely and Orbán Sándor from the Center for Independent Journalism discussed the role of education and continuous training for journalists in Hungary, with Attila Babos, Szabad Pécs’ editor-in-chief.

Asked what has changed in journalism training in the years of illiberal rule, Gábor Polyák said pupils saw that the media environment where they were to work was not attractive. The space for independent journalism is shrinking, while the state media offer better pay, better work environment and more work opportunities.

The generation that has grown up in this regime view the current media situation with pro-government and independent media as a normal state of things, Polyák added. They must be taught that this is not “normal” and that they will have an important role to play in changing the media landscape.

Sándor Orbán pointed out some positive developments amidst the general negative influence the current media environment has on journalism as a profession. He said a generation of journalists had grown up who were much more better journalists than earlier generations. The investigative journalism capacities cannot be compared to what Hungary had 20 years ago. Hardships bring innovation, he added.

According to Polyák, the most important capabilities journalists need are the same as they always were: curiosity and self-reflection. Additionally, journalists today must also have multimedia, social media and business skills. To these, Orbán added a commitment to the public good as a must.

A recording of the event will be available (in Hungarian) on Szabad Pécs’ website.

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