Hungary press freedom ranks 65th out of 180 according to Reporters Without Borders

February 12, 2015


“Democracy has been in retreat in Hungary ever since Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party came to power in 2010, with the result that the country has fallen 42 places in the index in the past four years,” writes Reporters Without Borders in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index.

“Fidesz continues to harass news media that are not under its control. In June, parliament adopted a law that reinforces the government’s repressive arsenal by taxing media income from advertising. It was clearly designed to silence RTL Klub, a TV station that has repeatedly criticized the government.” 

In 2006 Hungary was ranked 10 out of 161 in terms of press freedom.  By 2009 Hungary’s ranking had fallen to 25th out of 170.  After being ranked 56th out of 178 in 2012 and 2013, Hungary’s ranking fell eight places to 64 out of 180 in 2014 with a Press Freedom score of 26.73.  According to the 2014 World Press Freedom Index Hungary ranks 65 out of 180 with a total score of  27.44, which puts it ahead of Bosnia-Hercegovina and Serbia but behind the Dominican Republic and Madagascar.

According to Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Barometer, a total of 69 journalists were killed worldwide in 2014.  So far in 2015, 13 journalists have been killed and 164 imprisoned.

Top of the list is Finland, which has been in first place for five years in succession, followed by Norway and Denmark. At the other end of the scale, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea, in last place, were the worst performers. France is ranked 38th (up one place), the United States 49th (down three places), Japan 61st (down two places), Brazil 99th (up 12 places), Russia 152nd (down four places), Iran 173rd (unchanged) and China 176th (down one place).

The good news is that no journalists are known to have been killed or imprisoned in Hungary since Reporters Without Borders started publishing the annual World Press Freedom Index in 2002.