National Commission for the Protection of Public Morals

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 period of time, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has used his Fidesz party’s supermajority in the parliament to push through a raft of measures that are patently hostile to media independence. A controversial media law that came into force on January 1, 2011, drew sharp criticism from a range of international observers, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s special representative on the media, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, and the European Commission.

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