Hungary now only ranks 92nd on World Press Freedom Index

April 21. 2021. – 11:16 AM


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The international journalistic organisation, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), has released their latest World Press Freedom Index, according to which the backslide of media freedom has continued in Hungary.

This year's report puts Hungary in 92nd place after last year's 89th. The only EU country ranking lower is Bulgaria, while countries such as Albania, Moldova, and North Macedonia are ahead of Hungary.

According to the report, Viktor Orbán's government has used the pandemic to further expand its influence over the Hungarian media landscape, which could serve as inspiration for Poland and Slovenia's governments.

At the start of the pandemic, the Hungarian government passed laws enabling threatening journalists with prosecution over "fake news that could hinder the government's efforts against the pandemic" and introduced added obstacles to accessing state-held public information. RSF also noted that the new drone legislation, requiring journalists to get permits from authorities and landowners before a drone overflight, further obstructs reporting.

The report states that the plurality of the Hungarian media landscape has continued its decline with the takeover of and the silencing of independent Klubrádió; however, it considers the return of Radio Free Europe and the launch of as positive developments.

Norway is at the top of RSF's list before Finland and Sweden, while Eritrea is last right after North Korea, Turkmenistan, and China.

Telex summarised the situation of the Hungarian media in the following video:

English subtitles are available; if they do not display, you can turn them on in the video settings.

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