Zoltán Kovács, Hungary’s state secretary in charge of international communications, has rejected recent remarks published in an opinion piece by EUobserver suggesting that the Hungarian government “is waging a concerted effort to capture the media”.
In his article published by the same outlet on Tuesday, Kovács noted that Harlan Mandel, the author of the piece, was head of the US-based Media Development Investment Fund, which “has received at least 16.5m dollars from [US billionaire] George Soros”.
MDIF “funds exclusively left-liberal media outlets” in Hungary, Kovács said, adding that “they are free to do so, of course, but let’s not pretend that the MDIF, as an investor in media, is somehow a neutral, value-free player on these media markets.”
The organisations supported by MDIF are on the same platform as Soros’s Open Society Foundation, and “some might even argue that it’s a clear case of special interests that collude to control and manipulate the flow of information,” Kovács insisted.
“The Hungarian media landscape is still far more colourful than Mandel would have you believe” and added that Hungary’s media laws are fully compatible with European norms.