From: Alice Taylor
Hungarians Protest Over Political Interference in Free Media

Thousands of Hungarians protested this weekend in Budapest against the perceived muzzling of the countries media by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government

The protest took place on Friday afternoon following the mass resignation of more than 80 journalists and editors at Hungarian portal They took the action following what they called an “open attempt to exert pressure” following the dismissal of Szabolcs Dull.

Dull said he believes he was sacked due to columns he wrote on the platform about attempts at outside influence within the media. He said it was also due to a warning he issued on the sites independence gauge, a graphic the site has published for two years. Dull set the barometer to ‘in danger” to show what he believed was outside attempts to influence the content of the site- one of the few mainstream media that criticises Orban.

Management of the portal denies his claims.

The departure of the journalists marks the end of the 20-year-old portal, one of the most successful in the country and described as a “thorn in the side of Orban”.

Demonstrators protested against Dull’s dismissal and the general decline of media freedom in the country.

Hungary ranks at number 98 on the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index. This is due in part to Orban’s crackdown on critical voices and the purchase of countless media platforms by allies of the ruling party.