Article by Attila Mong on the Impact of Orbán’s Election Victory on Independent Media in Hungary
Attila Mong, who is the European representative of the Committee to Protect Journalist, talked to several leading Hungarian independent journalists about what they expect after the landslide victory of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party at the Hungarian elections on 3 April.
The journalists said they were afraid that the erosion of the independent media space would continue. Csaba Lukács from independent weekly Magyar Hang expects advertising revenue to fall as companies will be less likely to place ads in media critical of the government for fear of retribution.
Szabolcs Panyi from investigative journalism group Direkt36 is concerned that Fidesz’ earlier plans to introduce punitive advertising revenue taxes will be revisited.
The article recalls the 2021 plans to require NGOs to publish a full list of their donors, including microdonations. Independent news portal Telex co-founder Veronika Munk explains this would have killed independent media outlets relying on crowdfunding.
Blanka Zöldi, editor-in-chief of fact-checking site Lakmusz thinks access to public information will remain highly restricted. She is also afraid of a growing number of SLAPP cases against journalists.
Journalists told Attila Mong that they believe intimidation would worsen. Independent news site 444’s editor Péter Erdélyi said this might deter younger journalists from the profession.