Its name will be V4 News Agency (V4NA), and it will start with a team of fifty journalists and fast-responding news teams in London, providing news both in English and in Hungarian, but they plan to add other languages at a later stage. The agency’s owners are New Wave Media Group Ltd. (the owner of e.g. origo.hu; 57 pc), Danube Business Consulting (owned by Árpád Habony; 40 pc) and, interestingly, Hungary’s extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador in London, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky (3 pc).
According to Válasz Online, it was a widely-known secret for a while that Árpád Habony, a pro-government media mogul, would like to move to the international stage after he gave all his media outlets to the Central European Foundation of Press and Media. Válasz Online believes that the aim of V4NA is to deliver the messages of the Hungarian government more efficiently in English-speaking countries.
Based on the agency’s publishing information, its editor-in-chief is Tamás Tóth while its publisher is V4NA Ltd., and it is registered in London. In fact, the V4NA started its activity on Monday when its Twitter channel started, and its first news appeared on different pro-government media outlets such as Origo. The agency’s slogan is “News from the V4, by the V4“. According to their description, “V4 News Agency (V4NA) is a newly launched, independent international news agency publishing the latest news and information from the V4 (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia) and other EU countries.” Therefore, they will have correspondents in Bratislava, Warsaw, Prague, Paris, Berlin and even in Brussels.
According to the information of Valasz Online, many of the 50 journalists came from Figyelő and other news outlets owned by Árpád Habony before. For example, Attila Leitner, editor-in-chief of Lokál, will continue his career in London as one of the leaders of the news agency.
V4NA was registered on 31 December 2018 in London. At the time, its owner was Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of Hungary in London, while its director was the top leader of the Hungarian public media, Balázs Medveczky. This changed later since, on March 13, the Danube Business Consulting Ltd., owned by Árpád Habony, got 40 pc of the company. Habony founded the Danube Business Consulting Ltd. together with Arthur J. Finkelstein, an American expert infamous for his discrediting political campaigns. On March 29, this situation changed again because the New Wave Media Group Ltd. acquired a majority in the company with 57 pc. In fact, this company is part of the pro-government Central European Foundation of Press and Media.
Válasz Online’s sources say that even though it seemed that Árpád Habony suffered a defeat by the creation of the pro-government media holding last year, he was quickly recompensated by the founding of the V4NA which, of course, requires a lot of money. However, taking into consideration the uncertainties around Brexit, it is risky, too.
Source: Válasz Online