Real, independent journalism is a key element of our work

We consider it important to highlight the following to our followers and partners concerning the article just published in the Hungarian propaganda media, which seeks to discredit a member of our staff and independent journalism.

This series of articles is a deliberate, conscious campaign by the propaganda media to discredit both the civil sector and journalists, and has nothing to do with real journalism. Its clear and sole aim is to try, in the run-up to the elections, to portray domestic and foreign press products and journalists critical of the authorities as working under orders. We at the HCLU are working with different kind of journalists.

Independent press working from multiple sources is an indispensable part of the free world that the HCLU is working for. Basic journalistic standards require that a real journalist should gather information from multiple sources for every article and critically draw their own conclusions on any given subject. Our opinion is one possible source of real journalistic work.

We believe in the power of independent journalism and in the fact that both domestic and foreign press staff follows a serious professional and ethical protocol. Such work is invaluable as the independent press can play a key role in uncovering human rights violations as well as informing citizens. We help such journalist to do this to the best of our ability. We can provide them with up-to-date legal knowledge or repredent them in freedom of information lawsuits to help their investigative work, and we also often represent them in court when they are attempted to be silenced.

It would be unthinkable for the independent press to misuse a conversation with one of our staff only to support their own claims. In the bigger portion of the video published, it is not Márton Asbóth who is speaking, but his interviewer and his answer have been mistranslated, obviously deliberately. If they cannot get somebody to say what they need them to say, they will say it, or they will falsify what he said.

We have been working in the crossfire of smear campaigns for years, and we know that it is very difficult, both professionally and humanly, to deal with situations like this. That is why we stand by our colleague with all possible means.


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