Zoltan Kovacs – Photo: kormany.hu

Kovacs: Biased reporting on Hungary, Soros network ‘holds all the cards’

A former journalist of left-leaning news portals 24.hu and Index.hu in a leaked interview has spoken candidly about how international NGOs "hold all the cards" when it comes to reporting on Hungary in foreign media, the state secretary for international communications and relations has said.

Citing an article in the daily Magyar Nemzet, Kovacs said on Twitter on Thursday: “Why am I not surprised? Partly because these statements are not the only ones made recently by liberals on the topic of biased reporting about Hungary. I honestly can’t wait to see what’s next.

Most NGOs, including Amnesty International and “the ones financed by George Soros, exercise huge influence over foreign reporters writing about Hungary in the international press,” Kovacs said said in an English-language post on abouthungary.hu.

“For example I was invited to Brussels and Strasburg to report on individual events. Usually, in these cases, journalists were really instructed where they should go, who they can talk to,” Kovacs said citing the journalist.

According to the journalist, “it is not good” that press workers are so dependent on NGOs, and it is difficult to work transparently in such circumstances, Kovacs added.

Meanwhile, in an interview in Friday’s Magyar Nemzet newspaper, the state secretary for communications and international relations said the “Soros network” had affected the way Hungary was being portrayed in the international media.

Hungary had been in the receiving end of such distortions since 2010, Kovacs said, adding the best way to combat misimpressions among the western public was to correct them in the international press. Nevertheless, it was hard to get through to them, he added.

Kovacs said the journalist in question who is a former head of the Soros Foundation had recently conceded that Hungary and Poland were being “attacked” on the international stage “with many unjust accusations”.

The Soros network’s modus operandus was now clear, he said, adding that western readers, by default, couldn’t understand “what makes the Hungarian government so popular”.

Kovacs said hundreds and thousands were “actively involved” all over the world in peddling “distorted facts or opinions”. “We’ve seen this … for the past twelve years … ever since the media law, the fundamental law and the cardinal laws were passed.”

In the run-up to the April 3 general election, he added, Hungary’s electoral system would be “attacked yet again by the Soros network”.

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