The main message to the Hungarian media from the conference on Media Pluralism and Diversity and Combating ‘Hate Speech’ in Europe, held in Florence on March 26-27, was that effective self-regulation mechanisms are needed. In his presentation, Frank La Rue, UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression, emphasized that regulation by the state alone is not sufficient, and that it is up to the media itself to use self-regulation that supports journalists in providing information in a manner which is authentic, pluralistic and ethical. Co-director of Civil Media, Bea Bodrogi, also spoke at the conference on the requirements of balanced coverage in Hungary, on the cases taken on by CivilMedia, and its brief submitted to the Media Authority.
Presentations by lawyers, journalists, media researchers and NGOs from various European countries on the issues related to racially-motivated hate speech gave a comprehensive overview of the European media. An interesting point was that participants from countries with more stringent state control called for the self-regulation of media, while those from states with more lenient control (such as the UK) called for more legislation. The aim of the event was to present the means needed to achieve and sustain pluralism in the media and to encourage media stakeholders towards better collaboration.