Hungary’s last independent radio station could be forced off airwaves

The European Union must take action to stop the accelerating elimination of press freedom in Hungary, the International Press Institute (IPI) said today after a government regulator rejected the license renewal of Hungary’s last independent radio broadcaster.

Hungary’s Media Council, which is controlled by Viktor Orbán’s FIDESZ party, rejected the renewal application of Klubrádió, meaning that the Budapest-based commercial talk and news radio station’s license will expire on February 14, 2021, potentially forcing it off the airwaves for good.

Justifying its ruling, the Media Council said that during the last seven years Klubradio had repeatedly violated Hungary’s Media Law. András Arató, chairman of the Board of Directors of Klubrádió, previously denied the station had committed violations that could result in its license extension rejected.

Nik Williams