Freedom of the press


May 19, 2022

Freedom of the press is defined as the state in which the press staff, the journalists, decide for themselves, based solely on their own expertise, experience and opinion, free from external influences, threats and legal restrictions, what content appears in the press products they edit. This freedom also extends to the absence of state (government) intervention. For the purposes of this Article, "press" shall mean print and electronic communications media (media), the content which they provide, and the persons who produce such content. One of the citizens' rights is the freedom of expression in the press, which is not officially controlled and restricted in advance. The demand for freedom of the press was first articulated in the struggle for civil transformation, and its topicality was given by the tyranny of the absolute monarchy, and especially of the ecclesiastical authorities, who strictly controlled the press products. This was also one of the basic demands of the Hungarian revolution of 1848 against Habsburg absolutism for civic development. Freedom of the press is greatly hampered by the fact that in developed capital countries the monopoly of communications is monopolized by large corporations, and the state restriction is replaced by the restrictive, filtering activities of monopolies. The fight against measures and institutions that restrict freedom of the press is still a problem in many countries around the world. Freedom of the press as a value Freedom of the press is, at least in principle, a universal value and a human right. Both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights guarantee the freedom to disseminate and learn about opinions, ideas, news and information. Most states protect the freedom of the press as enshrined in their constitutions, although the practical implementation of this constitutional protection varies from state to state. Freedom House, based in Washington, explains the importance of press freedom in the following words: Differences in the interpretation of press freedom The range of measures and behaviors that are considered compatible with freedom of the press varies from country to country. Freedom of the press is not absolute in free-press countries either. Otherwise, in countries with a free press, there are opinions that are not allowed in the press. In many countries of the European Union, for example, Holocaust denial, that is, the assertion that the Holocaust did not happen, or even if it did occur, was less than what most historians believe is true, is prohibited. In the United States, restricting press freedom in this way seems unthinkable. Along with Lithuania, Hungary also restricts the portrayal of “symbols of dictatorship,” including the sickle and hammer, while this symbol is part of the coat of arms in neighboring Austria. The previous Hungarian election law, under the title of “campaign silence”, prohibited the press from formulating or reporting on political opinions on election day until the end of the vote. In contrast, in the practice of other democracies, such restrictions on political expression are not permissible. Sex-related restrictions are common. For example, the ban on the distribution of child pornography is almost universal. In the United States, for example, the federal government can impose large fines on TV broadcasters for inadvertently showing women, even inadvertently, for a while in a broadcast in Europe.