Vienna, 03 October 2017 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed concern and detest for the current state of media ownership and rights in Hungary.
According to local and international watchdogs, the Hungarian PM Viktor Orban’s (Viktor Orbán) government and his affiliates have allegedly bought most of the regional newspapers in the country.
Until recently, 18 newspapers belonging to different counties in Hungary had varying ownership, spanning from small local businesses to large media conglomerates. These regional outlets were sold to Mediaworks, a company controlled by a businessman, who then sold the company to a close friend of Orban.
Through various cronies and government-friendly businessmen, the remainder of the independent media was sold. In August of this year, the national tabloid Bors and two other outlets were sold to Avalue Befektetési Ltd which is controlled by Andy Vajna, the owner of commercial broadcaster TV2 and a member of Orbán’s small circle of trusted businessmen.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.