A succession of new Hungarian laws regulating the press, broadcast media and Hungarian Internet sites has drawn international attention, much of it critical.
Since a new government took office after general elections in April last year, Parliament has passed a series of new laws (in August, November and December) which has reshaped the legislative framework and regulation of communications and the media in Hungary. As first step to implement the new media regulations, the President signed an amendment to the constitution in early July.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media was among the first international bodies which expressed concern when new legislation was passed in August that unified and reformed the regulatory bodies governing the media in Hungary. Organizations such as the European Federation of Journalists have also voiced criticism following the adoption of each of the new laws, arguing that the legislation threatened media freedom in the country. It was the legislation passed in December 2010, however, which stirred an international political and media storm. The wide array of new regulations it encompasses will have a significant impact on media programming and the conduct of journalism in the country.
In light of the scope of international interest and concerns related to these changes, CMCS has compiled an online resource for researchers, students and other interested parties. Here, you will find links to:
- the texts of the laws and English translations thereof
- official Hungarian government responses to international criticism
- a wide range of statements, papers and press releases by international and Hungarian organizations
- a selection of editorials and opinion pieces
- an extensive listing of international news reports