Hungarian Media Law Translated

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The National Media and Infocommunications Authority Hungary (Nmhh) have published the Act on Media Services and Mass Media on their website in PDF format.

It is nearly 200 pages long and is a tough read.

Article 187 is what sets out the fines which has a lot of people worried

(3) The Media Council and the Agency — with due heed to paragraph (7) — shall have the right to impose the following legal consequences:
a) it may exclude the infringer from the opportunity to participate in the tenders put out by the Fund for a definite period of time;
b) it may impose a fine on the infringer in line with the following limits:
ba) in case of infringement by a JBE media service provider and the media service provider under the regulations on the limitation of media market concentration, the fine shall be of an amount not exceeding HUF 200,000,000;
bb) in case of infringement by a media service provider falling beyond the scope of item (ba), the fine shall be of an amount not exceeding HUF 50,000,000;
bc) in case of a newspaper of nationwide distribution, the fine shall be of an amount not exceeding HUF 25,000,000;
bd) in case of a weekly periodical of nationwide distribution, the fine shall be of an amount not exceeding HUF 10,000,000;
be) in case of other newspaper or weekly newspaper or periodical, the fine shall be of an amount not exceeding HUF 5,000,000;
bf) in case of an online media product, the fine shall be of an amount not exceeding HUF 25,000,000;
bg) in case of a broadcaster, the fine shall be an amount not exceeding HUF 5,000,000;
bh) in case of an intermediary service provider, the fine shall be of an amount not exceeding HUF 3,000,000;

Do read the full text! Now the Commission have something to work on.

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Hungary Digging in its Heels

Special keys of a Hungarian keyboard. Such key...
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It was has not been a great start to its Presidency, Hungary is now digging its heels in response to criticism of its controversial media law.

“It isn’t necessary to change a Hungarian law just because it is subject to criticism from abroad,” Zoltan Kovacs, state secretary for communication, told national radio.

“Before criticising, let’s wait and see how this law works. We are confident it will be up to the task,” he added.

Source

This and the fact that it hasn’t been fully translated into English are the reasons that the Hungarian Government have not responded to EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes letter from before Christmas.

This is despite criticism from home and abroad of the new law. France stated that the new law was “incompatible with the application of a certain idea of the freedom of the press, endorsed by all the European treaties.”

The largest Daily newspaper in Hungary Nepszabadsag, declared on its front page “The freedom of the press in Hungary comes to an end,” in the 27 languages of the EU.

This issue isn’t going away on the Hungarians, they may want to look at the law again or else find their Presidency being distracted by it.

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Should Bloggers get Accreditation to EU Institutions?

My Press Badge and Blogger Name Badge from Th!nk1

M van den Broeke on Twitter asked this question,

Should serious EU bloggers get some sort of accreditation to EU institutions? But on what criteria?

Firstly I say fair play to her for bringing up the question. Its one that should be asked more, and not just by the EU. I must say Irish political parties have been good at facilitating bloggers, so maybe other institutions should start soon?

But back to the question at hand. As pointed out by Charlemange of the Economist and Jean Quatremer of Liberation (French) the press corp in Brussels is shrinking. There are now only 752 journalists with accreditation compared with 1,300 back in 2005.

Newspapers depend more now on wire-content for EU stories and they consistently make mistakes ( eg, Saying the ECHR is part of the EU!!!) Can bloggers bridge the gap?

Much of the original content about the EU is now written by bloggers. Simply because there is not enough journalists to cover everything the EU does. But of course bloggers have a number of hold backs, day jobs, time, and money. But some bloggers are excellent specialists at subjects and having accreditation may allow them to build on their expertise and get more informed stories out there.

But how do you define a serious EU Blogger?

  • Is it someone who only follows EU Politics?
  • Is it someone who the majority of their content is about the EU?
  • Is it someone who knows a lot about the EU?
  • Is it someone who lives in Brussels?
  • Should be limited to someone with a high number of visits?

That is the hard part of deciding whether of not bloggers should be accredited.

Personally I think they should be. But who should be left into the Brussels bubble is the question?

Should a separate list be maintained for those bloggers outside of Brussels?

Its time we had this conversation.

What do you think?

Hattip to Julien Frisch for the topic

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New Year, New Look!

newspapers (Tehrān)
Image by birdfarm via Flickr

So 2010 swings around. The EU Presidency is taken over by Spain, and I give the site a bit of a lick of paint!

I decided to change the style a bit and make it a bit like newspaper. (one that isn’t updated very often!)

So what do you make of it? Its a change, one I’m getting used to!

Don’t forget to check out the Spanish Presidency’s website and best of luck for 2010, may it be the year of your dreams.

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2009

happy new year 2010
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What a year! 2009 is approaching its end and its been and up and down year for me.

Blogging

What a year for me and blogging! It started off great being selected for the first Th!nk about it competition and then that led to other cool projects, again involving European Journalism Centre and the Anna Lindh Foundation. I of course moved the blog .com and its bein great doing that. I have gotten involved with bloggingportal, irishelection and sluggerotoole at various points through out the year. I have met and been contacted by lots of cool people through all this.

Work/College

Its been an up and down year with work. Loosing my job, like so many others, was a bit of a wake up call, and thankfully I landed on my feet. I know am back in college and have a part-time job. Things really did turn out for the better.

Politics

What a year to be involved in Politcs. The Local and European elections were great fun, as was the preceding the Ard Fheis. I learned a lot during the campiagns and look forward to putting that to good use in the coming General Election, whenever that will be. The second Lisbon Referendum was also a great opportunity. Getting involved with Generation Yes, Ireland For Europe and Bloggers for Europe, let to more learning and of course meeting lots of people. It was a great experience. It also got me published in local newspapers!

Personal Life

While 2009 was a great year, it saw a number of deaths for me too. This year I lost a favourite teacher from school, Paddy Mulcahy, and a good friend of mine, Brian Finn. Its right to remember them at this time of year. This year, brought lots of opportunities in my personal life, and I am glad I took them!

2010

So what will next year bring? Who knows, but im looking forward to it!

All thats left to do now, is to wish you all a Happy New Year and best of luck for 2010!

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