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Media authority: FH report on Hungary internet freedom ‘one-sided, has methodological shortcomings’

Freedom House's latest report on internet freedom in Hungary shows similar "one-sidedness and methodological shortcomings" seen in recent years, Hungary's media authority NMHH said on Friday.

The authority said it had carried out an analysis of Freedom House’s Freedom on the Net 2023 report with a view to providing feedback and assisting the objective evaluation of the issues being examined.

It said the report reflected methodological shortcomings and contained inaccuracies. NMHH said Hungary’s unchanged score of 69 of 100 and “partly free” status had once again been based on the evaluation of a single staff member of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union TASZ, who was also the author of the report on Hungary.

NMHH said that despite the acknowledgments in connection with internet access, net neutrality and opportunities for entry to the telecommunications market, the sources cited in the report were those that were “biased in their criticism” in connection with the state of the media landscape in Hungary. It added that the report presented unsupported subjective opinions while failing to present opposing views.

NMHH also criticised the report for covering events in connection with media diversity that fall outside the period of June 2022-May 2023, such as the temporary closure of the Magyar Nemzet daily in 2018. It said the sources cited were often outdated, such as a 2007 document referenced in connection with internet access among various parts of society.

The report, NMHH added, contained several inaccuracies requiring correction, such as assertions regarding the media authority’s independence.

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