Reuniting Europe

These days, everybody is talking about the media law in Hungary.

But the situation in many other countries is far from perfect. Freedom House ranks EU members Bulgaria and Romania as “partly free”, alongside Bhutan or Nigeria. All candidate countries are considered “partly free”. According to “Reporters sans frontieres“, several EU “old” members, and in particular France and Italy, are free falling in the annual index. In the latest ranking of 178 countries across the world, 13 of the EU’s 27 members are in the top 20 but some of the other 14 are very low in the ranking. France is 44, Italy is 49th, Romania is 52nd and Greece and Bulgaria are tied at 70th.

EurActiv is putting together an article about media freedom in Europe. You are invited to contribute with recent experiences in the country you know best. You can send your contribution as a comment under this post or to my email

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  1. Hungarian media is trash media in short.
    The problem is after the fall of communism it’s never been supervised.

    The biggest paper is still Népszabadság (People’s freedom) the former daily of the communist party the content is plain bolshevik propaganda but they do not even know how to spell correctly not to mention further complexities of Hungarian grammar! Same aplies to Index the biggest news site and and their “cultural” weekly called Magyar Narancs. Only relative quality is ÉS a weekly on literature but it’s way too liberal to my taste. Unfortunately conservative or right wing is not any better they only excuse they very marginal in the media Market. The structure of ownership is “fuzzy” at best and quickly changes (on paper). Usually a nice mix of socialist oligarchs and western media parasites (RTL, Ringier, Sanoma).

    Interestingly in ’96 when the socialist shoot out eyes of protesters, arrested journalist and held for days without any reason nobody cared for the Hungarian democracy!

    Of course it has nothing to do with the fact that socialists sold out the country for western “investors” and the current National Government stopped the money pumps toward foreign/socialist media. Also western companies under socialist rule got more tax allowances and state subsidizing than they payed into the budget as tax. The new government will not subsidize foreign companies, since the last 20 years they used up all our trust, hardly invested into anything and made a big damage on heavy industries, retail and especially in agriculture!

    The new media low was done in order to ban violence and sexual content from the “daytime” tv, regulate ads and product placement and stop radical websites and publications. Besides it’s clearly Hungary’s inner affair!

  2. When we are discussing media freedom, I think that Macedonia can fall in the group with Greece and Bulgaria. Quite recently, the government froze the account of a medium that is regarded as critical of governmental policies. In addition, the pro-government media are airing statements which would make you think that things are pink in our country and we are about to reach the zenith in our economic growth and democracy. The entire affair is just a statement of the level of corruption of a country that is aspirant for EU membership.

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