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In reaction to being listed as a “predator” of press freedom, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán posted a short video on his Facebook page with the intention of proving that Hungary has plenty of government critical media. The caption writes, “I’ve found the “lost” press freedom!”
In the video, Orbán casually walks up to a newspaper booth vendor, who seems pleasantly surprised that the Hungarian prime minister decided to pay him a sudden visit. “I came because they have packed Hungary onto some sort of anti-press freedom list,” Orbán explains, referring to his naming on Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) Press Freedom Predators list.
The prime minister proceeded to specifically seek out and purchase “government critical or government insulting newspapers.” Based off the video, these outlets include Hócipő, 168 Óra, HVG, Élet és Irodalom, Magyar Narancs, and Népszava.
Orbán commented that “media freedom is in a miserable state if there are only this many outlets from which I am attacked,” to which the vendor added that “there are more,” without listing specific additions.
Orbán’s post is styled similarly to one Telex published in June, made in response to the prime minister’s statements in London. Orbán had told journalists that if someone asks for government critical newspapers at a Hungarian news stand, they are bound to get “a dozen at least.”
Telex’s correspondent was ultimately only able to purchase seven government critical newspapers from three separate vendors. Ultimately, the news outlet suggested that there are around 10 physical Hungarian newspapers which can be considered government critical, far outnumbered by those which are pro-government.
While there is understandably much more to the measure of press freedom than the amount of government critical and pro-government newspapers, both videos conclude, whether jokingly or seriously, with comments on the relatively minimal amount of government critical sources.
Featured photo via Viktor Orbán’s Facebook page