Media’s Role in Promoting Nationalism

The broadcasting from the European football championship this past summer provided Hungary’s President Viktor Orbán with yet another opportunity to reach out with his xenophobic and EU resistant message.

Orbán with a Hitler moustache – on freedom of the press in Hungary

Hungary has received harsh international criticism for being a country where the government draconically restricts freedom of the press. The ruling party usually dismisses these accusations with indignation and points to all the criticism they get in the free Hungarian media. But as the journalist Attila Mong puts it, there is, as the saying goes, more than one way to skin a cat. 


On 23 February 2009 a Roma man and his 5-year-old son were shot and their house burnt down, seriously injuring the other two of the children and their mother, in Tatárszentgyörgy, some sixty kilometres from Budapest. The murders were part of a series of violent attacks against Romas by a group of right-wing extremists during the winter of 2008/2009.

Hungarian Democracy in Tatters

The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his party Fidesz controls over two-thirds of the parliamentary seats. Now they are putting the country through a thorough makeover. The Canadian-Hungarian historian Éva S. Balogh, who runs the internationally acclaimed blog Hungarian Spectrum, describes the political landscape in Orbán‘s Hungary.

Fear and Self-Censorship

In 2010, the Hungarian parliament voted for a new media law that gives great powers to a new Media Authority to impose fines and revoke licences, with no possibility of appeal.

Imre Kertész on self-imposed exile and writing

In early March the Swedish publisher Svante Weyler and the filmmaker Håkan Pienowski went to Berlin to meet the writer and Nobel Laureate Imre Kertész. The meeting resulted in a short movie, produced by Swedish PEN. Svante Weyler gives us an introduction to the movie. 


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