The European Commission, in its infinite wisdom, identified three–THREE!– problems with Hungary’s new media law.
Here they are:
1. The commission believes the law’s rules on balanced reporting breach EU regulations because they apply to media beyond broadcasting, such as video blogs
2. It believes the law’s provisions on “country of origin” could result in fines on foreign media outlets for non-compliance
3. It believes the requirement for all media services to register with the new authority could restrict rights of freedom of expression
Is that it? Because our favorite part is the establishment of the Media Authority in which the 5 members are direct appointees of Fidesz, and they have a 9-year term. 9 YEARS! That’s SO fair and balanced, isn’t it? And the exorbitant fines…oh, the fines are good. And the punishments for any reporting that “goes against the public moral.” That one is good too. Ouch…my public moral hurts!! Come on EU Commission–there are so many good things to oppose in this legislation and you’re only worried about these 3?
Hungary’s Communication Minister Zoltan Kovacs has agreed that the Hungarian government will “…work on some texts that can make it [the law] clear, more precise.” Excellent, thanks Zoltan. We feel better now.
Read EU-Hungary row: Changes to media law agreed from BBC News if you need a little frustration with your afternoon coffee.