In Hungary and Poland, the inexorable degradation of the freedom of the press

Editorial in the World. It is the freedom of the press as the rest of the rule of law in Hungary and Poland : a degradation that nothing seems able to stop. Ne

In Hungary and Poland, the inexorable degradation of the freedom of the press

Editorial in the World. It is the freedom of the press as the rest of the rule of law in Hungary and Poland : a degradation that nothing seems able to stop. Ne

TheEditor
TheEditor
02 mart 2021 Tuesday 21:39
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In Hungary and Poland, the inexorable degradation of the freedom of the press

Editorial in the World. It is the freedom of the press as the rest of the rule of law in Hungary and Poland : a degradation that nothing seems able to stop. Nearly two months after the agreement snatch in Brussels to put in place a system of financial penalties in case of violations of the rule of law, the drift continues in Budapest and Warsaw.

In Hungary, which is a sad model in the field, Klubradio, the main private radio independent, renowned for its freedom of speech and criticism of power, will stop producing in Budapest, Sunday, February 14 in the evening, after having lost its appeal before the court on Tuesday. After over ten years of administrative barriers, the station has seen its license revoked by the media Council, a governing body in the hands of relatives of the prime minister nationalist Viktor Orban, under spurious charges.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also In Hungary, Orban, the justice deprives antenna the main independent radio

Wednesday, February 10, it is a vision of the cold that greeted readers of the private media in Polish : black pages intended to show " what it will look like a world without independent media ". Fifty media outlets have wanted to protest against a government bill aimed at taxing the advertising revenue, which deprive of critical resources. As Poland, Hungary apply the same method to weaken gradually the pluralism of the press : to remove the ads public, of all the media that bother stepping out the public audiovisual sector, shut down or redeemed by the close of the last organs to be independent.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also In Poland, a strike of information unprecedented in the independent media

Applied in Hungary since 2010, the method was successful at what he does in this country that a single television channel truly independent, RTL, which spends only a very limited part of its programs to information, and a single opposition daily, Nespszava. The situation is not as bad as in Poland, but the buyback in December 2020, the first distributor of the press, as well as the empire of the regional press, Polska Press by the giant national energy PKN Oreln, including the board of directors is largely dominated by those close to the ruling party, Law and justice (PiS), shows that the country is following the same path.

Non-compliance with the ethics

In the two countries, the leaders Viktor Orban and Jaroslaw Kaczynski ensure that their policy is to "rebalance" the media's treatment. And yet it is enough to look at their channel of public television to see that the result has nothing to do with journalism. Speaking time residual for the opposition, a total absence of critical power, defamatory attacks against all "public enemies" such as the european Commission or the independent judges... These practices do not comply with the ethical basis and are engaged in handling coarse.

Reinforced by the withdrawal of large groups of western media, the decline of pluralism has taken place before the eyes of a european Union largely powerless. The penalty mechanism adopted in December 2020 in Brussels unfortunately did not explicitly built-in media pluralism in its definition of the rule of law. It is, however, an essential cog in the wheel.

Read the analysis : the european definition of the rule of law

In this landscape disturbing, the Internet remains for the moment still an area of freedom, that it is imperative to preserve. Behind paid subscriptions which protect them, the independent journalists Hungarian and Polish can expect to be able to continue their work. For how long ?

The World

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Updated: 02.03.2021 21:39
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