Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Media are the ultimate frontiers in defending freedom in society today

Miklós Haraszti’s keynote speech at the Budapest award ceremony of the European Press Prize, March 14, 2018.

(Source: SITA)

The author is a Hungarian journalist, human rights activist, diplomat, and writer.

Dear friends of freedom of the press, many of you are coming from countries where the otherwise democratic, pluralistic media is burdened by novel dangers, such as manipulative fake news, the fragmentation of the public through social media, the monopolistic harnessing of advertisement revenues by the big-data companies, and, as a result, a further weakening of the legacy media.

Now, your speaker tonight is envying you -- and at the same time he is praising your wisdom to have come with your award ceremony to one of the countries of Europe already taken over by a higher stage of despoilment.

Your precious prizes honoring quality journalism are truly meaningful in a country which is, by now, beyond the mere spreading of politically motivated fake news. Instead, we have a dominating fake media, sustained by the government from taxpayer money. In short, welcome to the new propaganda state inside Europe, donning a quasi-democratic and quasi-market-economy camouflage.

From fake news to propaganda states

Here you find an audience which can fully appreciate the dangers that the established democracies face when outside forces pump fake news into the public space.

We share your indignation hearing about the most impertinent of all fake news, which is when populist politicians cry fake news, slandering the work of responsible journalists. The honest media has become an enemy because it is NOT fake.

But what you will experience in this country is not anymore manipulations of social media, utilizing commercial algorithms of the big-data companies to distribute their garbage.

The illiberal propaganda state has become a troll factory itself. Its main objective is not simply the spreading of “alternative facts” – the aim is to squeeze out all alternatives to fake news.

As you can guess, this cannot be achieved within the media production cycle alone. To achieve this, you need fake democracy, fake market, and fake constitutionalism.

I recommend to study the propaganda state as inherent in the warning signs you already experience at home.

-Resurrection of censorship -Orban and his media landscape -Lessons from Slovakia

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

Annual
subscription

29 €
Buy
You save 17.80 € compared with monthly subsription
Quarterly
subscription
9.90 €
Buy
You save 1.80 € compared with monthly subsription
Monthly
subscription
0.98 €
Buy
Price is only for new subscribers for their first month. All other months are standard price of 3.90€

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Top stories

The Nordic walker with the best technique in the world is Slovak Photo

For Lucia Okoličányová, Nordic walking has become her love of life and philosophy

Lucia Okoličányová

Pro-EU voters vote for anti-EU governments

This phenomenon is no longer limited to Central Europe.

Hungarian and foreign students took to the streets of Budapest to support CEU.

Planes will steal the sky above Dubová

Visitors should expect a colourful programme full of acrobatic demonstrations and tourist flights at the airport in Dubová, close to Bratislava.

Sulík: Kiska's party would only further break the centre right

Fico's star is falling and he could still save himself now for another election term, says opposition SaS leader Richard Sulík about who would benefit from early elections.

Richard Sulik