Press Freedom Index lists Hungary as “problematic”

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published its Press Freedom Index for 2018  and it lists the state of media freedom in Hungary as being “problematic.” Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are deemed to have a healthier free press than Hungary. Out of 180 countries, Hungary is number 73–falling back two place since last year in its global score. RSF writes:

“Businessmen with close ties to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s party, Fidesz, not only managed to acquire new media outlets in 2017 but also to replace foreign media companies that had invested in Hungary’s media. Their biggest success was getting control of the last three regional daily newspapers in the summer. Nevertheless, the Hungarian media landscape is still varied, and both print and online outlets do not hesitate to publish investigative coverage of alleged corruption involving top Fidesz and government officials. Two media bubbles co-exist in Hungary. One, created by pro-government and pro-Fidesz media outlets, is obsessed with migration, the “defence of Hungary and its borders” and its hate campaign against the Hungarian-American billionaire philanthropist George Soros. The other is focused on finding corruption scandals. The survival of media outlets critical of the government is due largely to former Orbán donor Lajos Simicska, who broke publicly with the prime minister in February 2015 and continues to fund a media empire originally created to support Fidesz. The government and its business allies now have their sights turned on two media outlets in particular, the leading commercial TV channel RTL Klub and the leading political news website Both are critical of the government.”

After 80 years, the Magyar Nemzet daily ceased publication on 11 April 2018.

RSF lists Norway as the country with the most press freedom, followed by Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, Jamaica, Belgium and New Zealand. Canada is number 18, one place behind Luxembourg, but directly ahead of Australia. The United States is much further behind, at number 45. As we mentioned, Hungary comes in at number 73–immediately ahead is Croatia, Hong Kong, Mongolia and Mauritania. The press situation in a handful of European countries, however is worse than in Hungary–notably in Greece, Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, Moldova and Ukraine.

Yet anyone who has followed Hungary’s development post-1989 (and even those who know about Goulash Communism before the change in regime) will be acutely aware of the fact that Hungarians did not aspire to be compared to these countries or societies, when it comes to levels of development and freedoms.  In the nineties, Hungary justifiably saw itself as more developed, democratic and certainly more free than most of these countries. The Press Freedom Index is just the most recent indication of how the tables have turned.


  1. Avatar Don Hermiston says:

    If the index lists Hungary’s press as problematic, how do they view the False news in the rest of Europe and North America?

  2. Germany listed as 15’th! Same Germany where it emerged that employees in national media felt compelled to tow the pro-migrant line of the government. The place where the national media ignored the rape & molestation of 1,200 women for four days, in step with the silence of government institution, most likely trying to give them a chance to try to sweep it under the carpet in the process. And now, with the social media censorship law, which even human rights watch flagged as being a danger to freedom of speech.

    So that Germany is ranked 15’th, while Hungary where there are plenty of critical voices against the government in print, social media and television is ranked 73’rd. This is how such institutions discredit themselves!

  3. Avatar György Lázár says:

    Pro-Orbán Hungarian language media distributes hundreds of stories about migrants raping woman, robbing and killing white folks in Germany… in the meantime 200 thousand well-educated Hungarians moved already to Germany and the numbers are increasing. They do not believe your xenophobe propaganda. Peter, are these people stupid to move to the German „hellhole” you describe or all „Soros agents”…?

    • They are moving there because wages are still three to four times higher on average. Average Hungarian can put up with same level of public safety as the average German can. I moved to less pleasant places myself on a few occasions, due to economic considerations. It is not a matter of believing this or that. You are way off the mark. And no, it is not propaganda! Would you tell a young girl that was impregnated during the NYE attacks on 1,200 women that it is “propaganda”?

      “Eventually she ended up on the ground with a man on top of her. She could see his face,” Ms Mahr said.

      “She could see another girl lying on the ground a few metres away and tried to signal to her to close her eyes, but the man turned her head away.”

      Seriously, your logic and your arguments are just absurd beyond belief!

      • Avatar Reality Check says:

        47% of Hungarians think sexual intercourse without consent can be justifiable in certain circumstances. In Germany, the number is 27%. Too high, but almost half the rate of Hungary.

        sexual intercourse without consent = rape

        Sexual assaults in Hungary are underreported for cultural reasons. It’s a hidden epidemic. But you have this dramatic, and terrible, case you keep going to. I get it, you don’t like dark people and you probably have a cognitive bias towards paying attention to circumstances that involve them.

        I am pretty sure it’s safer to be a woman in Germany than Hungary. At least most men in Germany think consent is important. Almost half of Hungarians think that they might have a good excuse to rape your daughter. I know for sure that women are more likely to advance professionally or serve in as elected officials in Germany.

        If you really think that Hungary is more enlightened towards women than Germany, then it is you who is absurd beyond belief.

        • Actually, this whole conversation started with regards to media freedom, and the credibility of certain institutions in measuring it. Both you and Lazar Gyorgy need to stay on topic.

          In regards to what has been happening in Germany & many other West European countries in regards to women’s safety, the big shift is the fact that simply walking in public has increasingly become a risky proposition. I do not have a daughter, but I do have two sisters. And yes, I would feel more comfortable with them walking on the streets of Budapest, Szeged or Debrecen, than I would with them going out for a stroll in Malmo, Frankfurt or many other West European towns.

          On the issue of date rape, I am not sure how one could quantify where it would be safer for a young woman, because you are right, it often does not get reported. But there is a public gang rape epidemic in Malmo, Sweden, where women are attacked simply for being out on the street.

          As for the horrific event I keep referencing, which upsets you so much, given that you would prefer everyone to keep quiet (authorities & media tried), yes we need to talk about it, because there is no historical precedent for this in peace-time Europe going back hundreds of years. Gangs of men raping & mass-molesting women on streets can only be referenced from war-time events, which makes its significance far larger than it has been reported & discussed.

          What makes recent events in Europe worrying as well is that it infringes on women’s very basic rights, such as the right to feel safe walking on our streets. It is significant, because while women do enjoy legal rights in our society, once they will increasingly feel like they cannot go out in society fearing for their safety, those rights might as well not exist. I have seen the results in places like Turkey, where for instance women do go out to the beach, and have the legal right to do so, but fear going for a dip in the water alone. Therefore given Western Europe’s changing demographics, in my view it is a valid issue that needs to be discussed. It is a very different social dynamic compared with the issue of date rape.

        • Just to pit things in prospective :
          Three rapes in month triggered outrage and protests in Sweden.
          Four women murdered in Hungary in the same period of time don’t cause outrage, nor trigger protests (and there are no migrants here).

          • Have you checked how many women were murdered in Sweden during the same period by any chance? Sweden’s murder rate is now about same as Hungary’s. Hungary used to have a murder rate that was more than double that of Sweden’s about a decade and a half ago. Pretty sad for a country with a GDP/capita that is four times higher.

            How many public gang rapes in Budapest during the same period?

  4. George Lazar;
    They are going to meet life’s challenge, that is to secure a better life.
    For that purpose all people take chances,always, every where.
    Did you not know that ?
    Perhaps you have done the same.
    Be realistic before you criticise others.

  5. Avatar Don Hermiston says:

    Western European and North American Media has been a disgrace since the end of the Second World War. The victors of that very unnecessary war destroyed National concern for a repulsive Globalist attitude and basically dictated what would be printed. It isn’t news. It is propaganda. It isn’t harsh Communist or Totalitarian propaganda. It is subtle, but it is still propaganda. It has been used to construct a history which is basically false. Thus mainstream media isn’t worth reading or watching.

    • Don
      You better go back to school history and see a shrink, just to be on the safe side. It may seem to you that everyone is driving in the opposite direction, but a couple of pills may resolve this.

  6. Avatar Don Hermiston says:

    I really don’t know if you really get it. We are at war. And the leaders of most Western European nations have much to answer for.

    • And don’t worry about the western nations and about the Americans, fix your problems first and the darkness may disperse.

  7. @ Peter

    Your claim, that Hungarians are fleeing Hungary for Germany “because wages are still three to four times higher on average.” in Germany is a piece of fake news. They were just as high before 2010. The big jump in emigration came after Orbán came to power. Go check your data troll. Hungarians are fleeing Hungary because of trolls like you, and because of your hero, the thief who is robbing young Hungarians of their future prospects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *