The editorial staff is already together, and they are going to start their work in September. The goal is, officially, to strengthen Eastern-European democracies, and the leader highlighted that there is a law regulating what they can and cannot do. Interestingly, the Trump-administration has appointed a new head to lead the agency behind Radio Free Europe.
According to 24.hu, after a long preparation period, the new edition of Radio Free Europe will operate as a news site named szabadeuropa.hu. The New York Times wrote last autumn that the US Congress was going to discuss the restart of the radio. They added then that the radio would be a message to the Orbán-government, but it seems that it will not be.
The leaders of the new media house will be Gyula Csák and Tibor Vovesz, two former employees of the Hungarian Kossuth Radio. The former started his career at BBC and both of them worked for Euronews, as well. Mr Csák is going to work from the centre in Prague while
Mr Vovesz will lead the editorial staff in Budapest.
Gyula Csák told 24.hu that they would not like to jump into the classic contest for the latest news. Of course, they will publish the most important news of the day, but they plan to have many analysis and investigative articles, as well. Furthermore, they will share podcasts and videos so they employ people who can produce different contents.
Some members of the editorial staff will only have to write the more in-depth and longer articles – Mr Csák said. He also cleared that the American laws regulating their work are clear. They will be a public service media without advertisements so they will be independent of political or economic influence.
24.hu says that independence is a debatable question since, allegedly, US ambassador to Budapest, David Cornstein, lobbied a lot to hinder the ruination of what he succeeded in developing a good relationship with the Orbán-cabinet by the pacification of the radio. Mr Csák says that they will remain neutral meaning that
they will ask all interested parties in a given issue.
And the issues they will write about will be the ones people are most interested in. Interestingly, the whole leadership of the institution behind the radio changed just after the decision was accepted of its start.
Radio Free Europe (or Radio Liberty in Russia) broadcasts from the money of the US taxpayers, and the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) supervises it.