To the President of the Hungarian Republic, the Speaker of the Parliament, the Government and the Citizens of Hungary
We, the undersigned, as producers and consumers of Hungarian media content, disagree with the spirit of the media law adopted on December 21, 2010 by the Hungarian Parliament In order to guarantee our basic constitutional and civil rights we demand that
- freedom of expression and dissent shall not be curtailed;
- professional trade associations and stake holders in the media shall be included in the process of media legislation;
- a non-partisan Media Council shall be elected, with the appointment of the Head of the Media Council for a maximum term of four years;
- the supervisory authority (Supervisory Board) shall include members delegated by the media profession;
- the threatening system of unfair penalties and fines shall be revised, and that any resolution of the Media Council shall be contestable in court, and that its enforceability prior to a final decision shall be rescinded;
- print and electronic media shall be exempt from the Media Law; that linear electronic media shall be independent, and that online, printed and audiovisual press as well as terrestrial broadcast and online media shall be differentiated; and
- the independence of the news outlets of different public media shall be maintained. (The transformation of the national news agency into an exclusive news provider jeopardizes editorial freedom and right to objective, true and impartial information, and eliminates the unique character of the existing public media).
We therefore demand that the Hungarian Parliament shall rescind the Media Law, as adopted on December 21, 2010, and shall similarly annul Chapter 2 (VIII/B) of the related Act CLXIII of 2010, and the Government of Hungary shall initiate a new media legislation with due consideration of each of the seven principles mentioned above.
It is strongly hoped that our demands will be honored prior to the promulgation of the act. Otherwise, our opinion will be voiced in subsequent actions.
27. 12. 2010.