OSCE media freedom representative warns on Hungarian news agency’s lawsuit against journalist

Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, today warned that the lawsuit initiated by the official Hungarian News Agency against journalist György Balavany can constrain media pluralism in the Internet.

“I am concerned that the Hungarian News Agency filed a lawsuit against the journalist simply because he published critical blogs,” Mijatović said. “Freedom of expression is an essential element of any democracy, and it is not limited to statements acceptable to all.”

Balavany, a journalist with the political weekly HVG and a blogger, posted two blogs on his personal website on 23 July and 14 August, claiming that public service media use taxpayers’ money to misinform the public. The Hungarian News Agency (MTI) says its reputation and commercial interests were damaged by the blogs, and demands from the journalist ten million Hungarian Forints (approximately 36,000 euro) in damages, a public apology and the removal of the blogs.

Excerpt Via osce.org 

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