The two-day CPAC Hungary (Conservative Political Action Conference Hungary), a conservative gathering (which is also referred to as the Hungarian mini edition of the annual super-conference of the American right) in Budapest, started on Thursday morning. The Centre for Fundamental Rights, the Hungarian organiser banned virtually all media outlets from the event that were not part of the Hungarian public media or KESMA (Central European Press and Media Foundation).
MTI, public media, Hír TV and other KESMA journalists were welcomed with open arms. This was quite obvious since
the CEO of the Centre for Fundamental Rights is the leader of KESMA as well.
However, many other press outlets were denied access to the conference. This was particularly the case for American journalists who came here just for the event and were not yet familiar with the Hungarian media environment.
Vice reports that all US journalists outside the Bálna Cultural Centre were denied entry on Thursday morning despite months of attempts to obtain press credentials for the conference.
In addition to Vice, journalists from Rolling Stone, Vox and the New Yorker were also turned away. RTL Híradó talked to Jonathan Krohn, a journalist for Rolling Stone, who said that he had not been allowed in despite having been promised to do so by the US organiser of the event, the American Conservative Union which is also the organiser of the ‘real’ CPAC.
Krohn explained that they had been forced to leave the area around the gate by two large security guards, and added that everyone was allowed into CPAC events in the US,
so this may have to do with the way the Orbán regime works.
According to Telex, journalists from Reuters, the Guardian and the Associated Press, in addition to those mentioned above, tried in vain to gain press access and enter the event. When it comes to the Western press, only an AFP (Agence France-Presse) photographer was able to gain access.
The only consolation, as Telex put it, was that the Centre for Fundamental Rights was webcasting the conference, so even those who could not attend were able to follow the events.
Source: Telex, hvg.hu, Vice, RTL Híradó