dinsdag 6 januari 2015

In Hungary, telling the truth is getting more and more difficult. Here’s our plan to change that

Early last year, Origo, a Hungarian news organization known for most of its history as tough but fair, started to pursue a story about a senior government official’s extraordinarily high travel expenses.
In any society with a vibrant media, this kind of accountability reporting is a basic component of journalism. Hungary, however, is different. The space for independent media has been shrinking rapidly for the last few years as a result of pressure from political or economic interests (or both). As a consequence, the Hungarian people now have less and less access to the kind of hard-hitting journalism that holds their leaders accountable.
The top editors of Origo experienced this challenge first-hand. As the news portal’s travel expense investigation progressed, pressure grew on the editors to drop the sensitive story. The journalists did not comply with these requests.
This standoff ended with the dismissal of Origo’s top editor in June 2014. His deputy, who pursued the travel expense story, resigned in protest, as did the entire politics section and dozens of other reporters. Altogether, more than half the newsroom decided to quit in protest of what they saw as the end of Origo’s editorial independence.


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