Fidesz dilutes right-to-reply provisions in media bill

Budapest, August 31 (MTI) – A deputy from the ruling Fidesz party on Tuesday outlined new proposals for right-to-reply aspects of the new media bill, saying that a passage in the bill on giving people the right to reply if they feel that their personal dignity has been offended will be scrapped.

Head of parliament’s cultural committee Simon L Laszlo said that a new amendment only requires corrections and a reply in the case of factually wrong statements. But the proposal sets up the demand that media organisations should publish corrections and replies within five days instead of the current eight days.

    Simon said that regulations governing content would cover not only broadcast media but the printed press and news portals on the internet.  

    Simon underlined a provision in the bill which would require new media to register with the state but the new proposal excludes blogs from the requirement.

    Another passage of the original bill on the obligation of the media to cover important events concerning the Hungarian nation — which has drawn strong criticism media interest groups — has been watered down. A new amendment suggests that individual media organisations will not be required to do this but such events should be current in the media as a whole.

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