BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The top U.S. diplomat in Hungary has raised concerns about the dwindling numbers of independent media outlets in Hungary and the growing influence of government allies in the media market.
David Kostelnacik, the charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy, said Tuesday that while there is independent media in Hungary, the publications "face pressure and intimidation."
Speaking at the Hungarian Association of Journalists, Kostelnacik said "negative trends in the sphere of press freedom in Hungary ... are continuing."
He mentioned the increased "control and influence" by allies of Prime Minister Viktor Orban over the media market and how journalists at pro-government outlets can't publish articles critical of the government.
Orban recently said that media outlets supposedly under foreign influence were among his party's main opponents before next year's elections.