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Government of the Republic of Hungary

06/11/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/11/2019 08:11

Zoltán Kovács rejects criticism of the state of Hungarian media

State Secretary for International Communication and Relations Zoltán Kovács has rejected the criticism of the state of the media in Hungary in a piece published on Tuesday in EUobserver in response to an earlier article by the Brussels new portal, stressing that the Hungarian media is much more diverse that indicated in the article.

Mr. Kovács primarily called attention to the fact that Harlan Mandel, the author of the article on the government 'occupation' of Hungarian media space, is the director of the US-based Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), which organisation has received at least 16.5 million dollars from businessman George Soros.

He pointed out that in Hungary the Fund exclusively finances left-wing liberal, strongly anti-government media outlets, which it has a right to do, but people should not pretend that the MDIF, which is involved in media financing and has a political programme, is an impartial and value-neutral participant of the market.

'The media companies financed by the organisation are standing on the same platform as Soros's Open Society Foundation, and some people might state that they are cooperating in the interests of 'controlling and manipulating the flow of information', Mr. Kovács wrote.

The State Secretary highlighted the fact that the Hungarian media palette is much more diverse that Mandel would like readers to believe, and the television station with the highest ratings is by far the strongly anti-government RTL Klub, and the most visited internet news portal is Index.hu, which can hardly be regarded as being pro-government.

In closing, he also mentioned that the Hungarian Media Act 'conforms fully to European norms'.

(MTI)