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Radio silence as independent Hungarian broadcaster kicked off airwaves

The third episode of ‘The Press Freedom Files’ examines media pluralism after muzzling of Klubrádió in Hungary

At midnight on February 14, one of Hungary’s last major independent radio stations, Klubrádió, fell silent on the frequency on which it had broadcast for 20 years.

The silencing of the critical broadcaster comes after a court in Budapest sided with the government-controlled Hungarian Media Council and approved its decision to refuse to renew Klubrádió’s seven-year license.

The ruling resigned Klubrádió to broadcasting solely from the internet from today, February 15, and caps the end of a decade-long campaign by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to muzzle one of the country’s last critical stations.

The third episode of IPI’s podcast ‘The Press Freedom Files’ examines the impact of this court verdict on what remains of media pluralism in Hungary and contextualizes it within the government’s broader efforts to silence independent journalism.

IPI Advocacy Officer Jamie Wiseman talks with guests Arató András, chairman of the board of Klubrádió, and Dr Gábor Polyák, an associate professor at the Institute for Communication and Media Studies of the University of Pécs and head of research at Mérték Media Monitor.