A topmost online news portal in Hungary has seen three of its senior editors and seventy other reporters backing out of the organisation following a harsh decision taken by the organisation leading to the sack of the medium’s editor in chief, Szabolcs Dull.
The 70 journalists are angry that the management sacked the editor in chief who has been helpful in the media outfit. Their action was in protest, signalling their disagreement with management decision.
Aljazeera, one of the leading television stations in the middle east, reports that the 70 journalists with the three editors walked out of the outfit as fears grow over government interference in the running of the organisation.
Index.hu is the most independent online media in Hungary in a media landscape increasingly controlled by allies of the country’s prime minister, Viktor Orban.
The management said the editor-in-chief was sacked for allegedly leaking internal documents to other media outfits in the country.
The decision did not go down well with the three editors and the 70 journalists, they agreed to back out of the media outfit, a development which has shaken the newsroom to its foundation.
They are of the belief that the decision to sack the editor-in-chief was “an overt attempt to apply pressure on Index.hu”.
Prior to his sack, Dull had warned that there would be an overhaul of the organisation, hence putting the independence of the media house in danger.
The warning followed a purchase of 50 percent of Index’s advertising agency by powerful pro-Orban businessman Miklos Vaszily in March.
Aljazeera reports that most independent outlets have either gone out of business, or been bought by government allies while receiving lucrative flows of state advertising.
International observers say a lopsided media landscape and restricted access to information helped Orban win a third consecutive term as prime minister in 2018.