Media Self-Regulation in Focus in Hungary

Adeline Hulin, OSCE Office of the representative of Freedom of the Media talks about the benefits of media self-regulation for press freedom

Budapest, June 23 2011 – The international conference “Media self-regulation: ethics and quality” was organized by the Center for Independent Journalism on 23 June, 2011 to discuss the future role and regulatory environment of a future industry-based media self-regulatory system in Hungary. Speakers of this conference summed up the results of several year-long consultations among major stakeholders of media on the establishment of such an organization. International experts from the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) shared experiences with already existing self-regulatory mechanisms with Hungarian colleagues.

The history of media self-regulation goes back to 2001 when the first self-regulatory organization – the Association of Content Providers in Hungary ( was established. In 2007 the Center for Independent Journalism launched an initiative with leading journalists and numerous major news organizations to adopt ethical guidelines and based on this agreement to establish a national media self-regulatory body for all media in Hungary. Since then workshops, expert meetings and numerous in-depth consultations with key stakeholders were held about the possible working models of the self-regulation association.

After the adopting of the new media law by the Parliament in 2010, the Center for Independent Journalism  – re-launched regular negotiations with media companies, lawyers, editors-in-chief in January 2011 to finalize the documents elaborated in 2007-2009 as a result of media self-regulatory efforts. Most of the negotiators have been convinced about good chances of a final agreement to set up a media self-regulatory association in Hungary.

As a consequence of the new media legislation, there have been important changes in the regulatory framework in Hungary which have raised additional questions about the distinctive scopes of regulation, emerging co-regulation and self-regulation in media. The international conference gathered more than 60 participants – mostly journalists and industry leaders. Presentations from international and Hungarian speakers focused on key issues of media self-regulation: benefits of self-regulation for media organizations and consumers, good practices of media self-regulation in Western Europe and in Hungary and also, how the latest changes in the regulatory system may impact self-regulation.

To view the program of the conference, please visit

Prof. Robert Pinker (Press Complaints Commission, UK), Manfred Protze (German Press Council) and Daphne Koene (the Netherlands Press Council) introducing good practices and models.