We have launched proceedings against Hungarian news channel Hír TV regarding its show Keresztmetszet (“Cross-section”) aired last February 9th (click here to view), which we believe provided unbalanced coverage. The documentary was a response to an article in The Guardian on the situation of the Roma community in the Hungarian town of Gyöngyöspata. Hír TV’s show described the article as one-sided and inaccurate, and claims that it is attempting to balance this by “presenting the other side of the story”. However, the resulting programme shows a distorted view of reality.
It denies that teaching in the local school is segregated, despite this having been found in the reports of Hungary’s last two ombudsmen for minorities. The message of the programme was that the town’s leaders are doing everything they can to improve the living conditions of the local Roma community, but that all their efforts are being nullified by dissatisfied Roma organizations, certain international mediators, and NGOs such as the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. CivilMedia believes that this documentary did not meet the requirements of balanced coverage. Our brief lists our arguments and a detailed analysis of the programme. As the National Media and Infocommunications Authority has rejected our request in an administrative law ruling, CivilMedia is now escalating the complaint to the Media Council.