« Interview with Sherif Arafa | Main | Cartoon Movement App Now Available »

March 7, 2011

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Agh Tamasne

Only in the first 2 paragraph I have found 3 serious "mistakes" (lies?) - even if it is just repetition of other's lie, it is still a lie.
1. Unbalanced content: actually it is a double lie -
a) Unbalanced content cannot be fined, only the Media Council can declare a news service unbalanced, but no fines.
b) And this is the KEY POINT: this requirement is in place for 14 years in Hungary (haha!!!), a law by a Socialist government in 1997. Unbalanced provision of news is thus part of Hungarian legislation and constitutional court case for long. By the way just as in many other countries.
2. "Under the law, massive fines can be levied at news outlets for unbalanced reporting" - not true, unbalanced news cannot be fined.
3. "fuzzy terms" - terms like Human dignity and morality are not fuzzy, are very well defined by court and constitutional court regulations and precedences - AS ALL RULES OF THE MEDIA COUNCIL can be challenged at court.
4. The Tilos Radio investigation is wrong again - as the inquiry started in December, THEREFORE BEFORE THE NEW MEDIA LAW!
5. "EU declared the law as antithetical to its values" - EU never said that, maybe you mix EU for your comrades. Actually after lengthy discussions and analysis the "EU" proposed 4 changes, which were accepted today in parliament. None of those you refer to where among those. In the same time the commissioner said another 10-12 countries' media law have similar challenges.

Very biased article, very obvious.

Cartoon Movement

There are no "lies" here.

Words like "human decency" are fuzzy and violations will be determined by a stacked and biased council. Much of the criticism from around the world has focused on that aspect of the law. It's true that other European countries do mandate balanced coverage, but I never said otherwise.

EU countries, particularly France and Germany, did indeed criticize the law which is the entire reason revisions were submitted.

The Wall Street Journal and many other news outlets noted how they failed to define standards:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704405704576063663729612874.html

The Telegraph and many other news outlets reported on the fines for "balanced" reporting, writing the Media Council's powers give it "tight control of state media and court powers to rule, including the levy of fines, on questions of editorial balance."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/hungary/8243972/Hungarian-president-rejects-criticism-of-media-law.html

Columbia Missourian also reports on the requirement of "balance":
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2011/02/11/global-journalist-hungary-faces-free-press-criticism/

Here's more reporting on it: "The law, which seeks to introduce "balance" into reporting, and which includes heavy financial penalties for non-compliance"
http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=125348

Slate: "A new, state-run media council, composed entirely of Fidesz appointees, now has the right to impose fines of up to $1 million for journalism it considers "unbalanced," whatever that means."
http://www.slate.com/id/2279267/

Euronews reported along with many other outlets reported that Tilos Radio is being pursued under the law, which passed late last year.
http://www.euronews.net/2011/01/20/hungary-s-right-turn/

As for bias, we unapologetically oppose this law and all efforts to stifle free speech everywhere. This isn't an unbiased news article--it's an interview with artists who are facing government censorship. But your comments betray a bias of your own, along with an inability to use Google.

--Matt Bors

redjade

UPDATE...
(MAr 8 2011)

'Despite adjustments, Hungary's media law continues to violate OSCE commitments, says OSCE representative on freedom of the media'
» http://www.osce.org/fom/75999

'The amendments narrow the scope of the law so it no longer covers on-demand services such as Internet sites or blogs. It also limits potential action against foreign media reporting from Hungary.

Registration with the authorities will no longer be a prerequisite for media operations, and a ban on offensive content has also been softened.

The law came into effect on January 1, the same day Hungary took over the rotating six-month presidency of the EU. It has loomed large over Budapest's leadership of the bloc, focusing more attention than usual on the country of around 10 million.'
» http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14895879,00.html

Agh Tamasne

Dear Matt,
You are citing other articles from other media, but that doesn't make the statements you make in the beginning of your report true. I understand that you think it is true, because you have read it (with the help of Google) in other articles. But still - those are not true! really.

The law is probably not faultless, but you make a big mistake by repeating untrue statements.

One of the reason the widespread criticism of the law did not hurt much the governing party is because it could point out how much of the criticism is unfounded, or simple lies.

One nice example is the potential to fine unbalanced news coverage, which again - not in the law! Or that "human dignity" and "public morality" is any novelty - actually it comes from the old media law, accepted by a social-liberal coalition in 1997.


bolivar

Unfortunately, Agh Tamasne, what you say here is pure lie.

The law, as published today on the web site of the media authority includes a whole section with a single pragraph denoted 181. § that lays down the procedures the authority is entitled to follow, would it identify a given media stream unbalanced. Therein it makes reference to paragraphs 186-189. §, where corrective and punitive actions, including as last resort, the imposition of fines are settled.

Some of the problems related to the exigence of balanced news coverage may be dampened by fixes made to fulfill (insufficient, but welcome and not negligible) EU exigences, but the media law as a whole remains problematic, not to talk about how unbalanced its application may be expected, as with or without the help of the law proper, by pure force, the ruling "Orbán-FIDESZ coalition" has managed to reach unprecedented unbalance in their favour of news coverage in public media as well as self-alignment of major private TV channels, just to name a few.

You need not action the treats outlined (or not) in a law, to achieve this: fear does the rest of the job and current rulers of Hungary do everything possible to reinforce fear in everyone not submitting or silencing itself to their requirements. After 20 years of freedom we are confronted again with a political power accepting not less than full dominance of public, and through very uncincerely touted "christian" values', also private life of citizens.

Agh Tamasne

Dear bolivar,
I admire your self confidence.
This whole conversation I will make public in Hungary, so all see how poorly informed you all are.
Let me quote 181. § referring to 186-189. §: "In addition to the foregoing, no legal consequences as defined in Articles 186–187 may be applied against the breaching entity."
So this is exactly the opposite you try to say... And you called me a liar... haha.
Good night.

Agh Tamasne

By the way - if any doubt here is the law: http://www.kim.gov.hu/misc/letoltheto/media_law_04012011.pdf
official website.
cheers

MBT Online

It took us ages to get dressed - we got changed about 3 times before finally settling on a bit of sparkle..."

seo reseller

I can understand the scrutiny he is undergoing. It is because of his depictions that have been a public scandal.

Triactol

One of best Hungarian cartoons of all times is Gustav. Gustav is developed in 1964., always wears same gray clothes and is full of various human anomalies. Gustav became a well-known character in many Eastern European countries.

Moncler outlet

That's another example of a bureaucrat thinking they know best. If that house were built in another city, the bureaucrats would slap a notice on the structure and say "tear it down".

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)