media standards

As we reported last week following an interview with Hungary’s foreign minister, the government in Budapest appears to be willing to diffuse the dust-up over its controversial media law, which critics charge is intended to stifle press opposition.

In a letter sent to the European Commission Monday, and posted by our colleagues at the Hungarian daily Nepszabadsag, Hungary’s deputy prime minister and justice minister Tibor Navracsics said his government was willing to amend the law, if the Commission deemed it necessary. (English translation of letter here.)

My half-hour interview with Janos Martonyi wasn’t all about the media law, however. We talked about his desire to see Friday’s summit of EU heads of government focus on energy issues – as originally planned – and not get overshadowed by the ongoing eurozone debt crisis.

And we also talked about The CarpetRead more

Fellow Brussels Blogger Stanley Pignal and I have a story in today’s paper about a letter sent to the Hungarian government on Friday by Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner in charge of broadcast and digital media, in which she gives Budapest two weeks to avoid legal proceedings over its controversial media law. Read more

I was fortunate enough to speak with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Tuesday about how the European Union is going about the task of choosing its first full-time president and its next foreign policy high representative.

The longer our conversation progressed, the more I realised how damaging to editorial standards, not to mention the people’s understanding of politics and government, are the competitive pressures on modern news organisations to be ahead of the rest of the pack.  For this particular EU story has, over the past few weeks, produced a cornucopia of nonsense as every broadcaster and newspaper has fallen over its rivals in a fruitless and fundamentally misguided attempt to show that it, and it alone, has got the lowdown. Read more