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Hungary: Freedom of the Press under Pressure?

14. November 2016, 19.30 h

APA - Austria Presse Agentur, Laimgrubengasse 10. 1060 Wien

Hungary recently attracted international attention when the major newspaper "Népszabadság," which was left leaning and critical of the government, was shut down without prior notice. Since then, the paper has been sold to a businessman associated with Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán. This incident triggered a far-reaching public debate on the media and freedom of the press in Hungary.

Critics accuse Victor Orbán and his ruling party Fidesz of bringing the Hungarian media structurally under their control and of turning them into their mouthpiece. The owners of many private media outlets are related to the government.

Moreover, the government exerts significant influence on both private and public media through a Media Authority, which can impose penalties or withdraw licences if media outlets violate governmental guidelines.

We are pleased to discuss the general situation of the Hungarian media sector and the uncertain future of the newspaper Népszabadság with the following panellists:

Erhard BUSEK, Chairman of the Institute for the Danube and Central Europe (IDM) and former Austrian Vice-Chancellor

Dalma DOJCSÁK, Head of Freedom of Speech Program, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union

Márton GERGELY, Suspended Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Népszabadság

Zoltán KOVŔCS, Government spokesperson, Prime Minister´s Office

The discussion will be moderated by Alexander Warzilek, Austrian Press Council.

Date: Monday, 14.11.2016, 19.30 h

Venue: APA - Austria Presse Agentur, Laimgrubengasse 10, 1060 Wien