Vienna, 7 March 2018 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed concern for the state of media in Hungary and its apparent worsening of free speech.
Since Viktor Orban (Viktor Orbán) reassumed the position of Prime Minister in 2010, SEEMO has registered many cases of media freedom violations and cases of unprofessional reporting in Hungary.
One news web-portal with alleged ties to the government published a story following the 1 October shooting of 58 people in Las Vegas with the headline “People on Twitter are wondering why George Soros sold his stocks before the Las Vegas massacre”.
Soros has also been the center plotline in countless other conspiracy theories published by Hungarian media, such as one in which he backed a campaign to overturn Brexit and undermine the Prime Minister of Great Britain Theresa May.
This organised media propaganda is systematically being fed to older, less educated generation of media consumers in Hungary, making it continuously more difficult for independent, critical media outlets to work and survive.
The consequences of not supporting professional and ethical journalistic work are already visible in Hungary through a diminishing number of media outlets and civil society organisations and the diminishing of their scope of activities.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe.