The Statement of HCLU Regarding the New Amendment Proposals Presented in Relation to the Media Law

HCLU continues to maintain its position that the Bill regarding the fundamental rules of press freedom and media content is conceptually misguided, and therefore we ask for its removal from the Competent.

You may read our position here (in Hungarian).

According to HCLU, the regulations must be formed and coordinated with industry stakeholders, journalists, professional organizations; they must be conceptually new, appropriate within European Union directives and to the situation of today's media market as well, in which the freedom of press must be the governing principle. Hungarian media diversity and the significant reduction of frequency-scarcity should have resulted in the legislature breaking down the current strict rules, and intervening with the operation of the media market when and where it is clearly justified, as in case of the public media.

The HCLU has repeatedly engaged with regulatory proposals concerning the media and our positions may be viewed here (in Hungarian):

http://tasz.hu/files/tasz/imce/mediatartalom_tasz.pdf

http://tasz.hu/files/tasz/imce/sajtoszabadsag_mediatartalom_tasz.pdf

Overall, the submitted amendments to the proposal do not solve the problems that stem from the clauses restricting freedom of speech in the conceptually misguided Bill, or in even more cases, clauses that further restrict the freedom of the press. The new amendments make source protection  and investigative journalism impossible, while the mandatory content requirements, compulsory pre-registration, and standards regarding the vague “public morality”,  jeopardize  the editorial freedom and through this, the operation of the independent press.

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