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Dismissal of Index Editor-in Chief and Resignation of Journalists Triggers ‘Media Freedom’ Demonstration

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.07.25.

A demonstration was held in Budapest on Friday evening in protest against the dismissal of the editor-in-chief of news website index.hu, for media freedom. The protest started at the editorial office in north Buda, then the demonstrators marched to Buda Castle.

László Bodolai, chief of the foundation that exercises the employer’s rights at Index, initiated the dismissal of Szabolcs Dull on Wednesday. On Friday, the portal announced in a “service statement” that all editors and almost all staff members had decided to quit.

Index Journalists Begin to Quit after Editor-in-Chief’s Dismissal
Index Journalists Begin to Quit after Editor-in-Chief’s Dismissal

The entirety of leading news portal Index’s editorial board commented that editor-in-chief Szabolcs Dull’s dismissal is “unacceptable.” After their demand to restore Dull to his position seemed fruitless, resignations began at Hungary’s most-read news portal. The staff cites outside pressure and fears the decline of independent reporting. Following the announcement of László Bodolai, the chairman […]Continue reading

András Fekete-Győr leader of the opposition Momentum party, told the crowd, which filled Szent György Square next to the prime minister’s and the presidential office, that “the journalists of Index have demonstrated that it makes sense having a moral backbone in this country.”

photo: Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI

The politician added that they had to stand up because “100 metres from here there is a cowardly little man who does not dare to face a mirror”, he said, adding that “we are fed up with cowardly politicians and their propagandists.” Fekete-Győr said that:

I would like to build a Hungary of brave people, a country with a free press, an unbiased public media, an independent Academy of Sciences, a country with a Central European University and Index.

Independent lawmaker Ákos Hadházy said that “this demonstration should not be the last, the protests should continue”. He insisted that the senior officials of the public media should be appointed on the basis of consensus. “There is no regime against which you can’t fight successfully but the stricter the dictatorial rule, the stronger resistance one should put up against it,” he said.

Editor-in-Chief of Hungary’s Leading News Site 'Index' Gets Fired
Editor-in-Chief of Hungary’s Leading News Site 'Index' Gets Fired

Szabolcs Dull,  the editor-in-chief of Hungary’s most popular news website Index.hu, was dismissed on Wednesday after he had announced that the portal’s independence was in danger. In a letter, László Bodolai, head of the Foundation for Hungarian Progress (Magyar Fejlődésért Alapítvány), which owns Index, stated that the Board of Directors of Index.hu Inc. considered the […]Continue reading

The demonstration was initiated by Momentum and attended by politicians of several left-wing parties.

featured photo: Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI