Bad News for Fans of Free Speech
By Christopher Walker
Hungary's descent into the Partly Free category in Freedom House's just-released annual assessment of global media independence should set off alarms for those who believed the country's press freedom was firmly established.
In a stunningly short time, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has used his Fidesz party's supermajority in parliament to push through a raft of measures that are patently hostile to media independence. A controversial media law that came into force 1 January 2011 drew sharp criticism from a range of international observers, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, and the European Commission.
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