An insightful article and opinion piece by the New York Times that narrates the gradual decline of media freedom in Hungary after the election of far-right prime minister, Viktor Orban.

First, the article.

“Hungary’s leading news website, Origo, had a juicy scoop: A top aide to the far-right prime minister, Viktor Orban, had used state money to pay for sizable but unexplained expenses during secret foreign trips. The story embarrassed Mr. Orban and was a reminder that his country still had an independent press.”

However, that was in 2014. Their free press didn’t last long.

“According to Freedom House’s press freedom index, Hungary’s media was judged the 87th freest in the world in 2017, down from joint 40th in 2010, when Mr. Orban entered office.”

And the opinion piece.

“The world’s growing ranks of would-be autocrats should study Viktor Orban. Steadily, systematically, relentlessly, he has disabled any criticism or honest accounting of his imposition of right-wing, nativist, nationalist politics on all spheres of Hungarian life. His latest feat is breathtaking in its audacity.

Acting as if on a signal, more than a dozen owners handed over more than 400 news websites, newspapers, television channels and radio stations to a foundation formed and run by Orban loyalists. Most of the owners said they “donated” their outlets.

Image from New York Times Article.