A delegation of
the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today told reporters in Budapest
that the media law which has been enacted earlier in the year threatens the
survival of journalism as a public good in the country. The EFJ delegation held
a press conference in the Hungarian capital where it holding round-table discussions with professional
representatives and media experts.
"We are appalled by the anxiety and the
uncertainties among the profession," said Roberto Natale, member of the
EFJ Steering Committee and president of the Italian journalists' union (FNSI).
"Public media were put under the umbrella of a single organisation
which lacks transparency, social
dialogue and editorial independence".
A delegation of nine representatives of EFJ member
organisations also met with representatives of the newly created Hungarian
Broadcast Support and Asset Management Fund (MTVA) to start a regular dialogue
These meetings came after the new media law entered into
force and is being now fully implemented since 1st July 2011 and as journalists
are facing massive redundancy plans.
"Hundreds of jobs are threatened in public media and
the new media law is putting terrible pressure on editorial independence,"
said the Chairman of the EFJ broadcasting expert group John Barsby. "We are in a battle for freedom of
information, truth, pluralism and democracy. It is a battle that the people of
Hungary cannot afford to see lost."
Over 500 of the total 3400 staff members at the four
state-run media companies - Magyar Rádió, MTV, Duna TV and MTI have already been sacked and hundreds more
jobs are under threat.
The EFJ is calling for investing in public media to
enhance quality and standards in journalism for the public good.
"Instead of cutting resources and try to defend
unclear Hungarian values in programmes, it is the responsibility of the
authorities to guarantee the financing of public media precisely to support
quality journalism as a public good," says the EFJ. "We call on
journalists and civil society groups across Europe to support Hungarian
journalists in their struggle by signing the SOS Hungary petition recently
launched by the Austrian union of journalists GPA."
The Federation has also urged the European institutions
to defend press freedom and public service values of journalism in Hungary, and
wherever it is necessary in Europe.
For more information, please contact the EFJ on + 32 2
235 22 00
The EFJ represents more than 250.000 members in over 30
countries For more information