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24/05/2019
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Europe’s ‘free’ media

by Samuel Stolton with Alexandra Brzozowski

Back in the bygone days of my journalism studies, I memorised a quote I still turn to from time to time, as a means to reify the importance of my craft in a world ever blighted by existential challenges to the industry. An abridged version of Lord Bingham’s address to the House of Lords in 2000 reads: “The proper functioning of a modern participatory democracy requires that the media be free, active, professional and enquiring.

May 4.– In the EU today, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, that very democratic functioning is at stake. A study published on Friday shows that 78% of Hungary’s media is under state control.

The research, conducted by Hungarian media expert Agnes Urban and commissioned by Green MEP Sven Gielgold, shows the unprecedented influence of Hungary’s governing Fidesz party over the media sector.

“The key issue here is of competition,” Gielgold told EURACTIV. “We need to do away with these oligopolistic media structures.” ...

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