Attila Mong/CPJ Europe Representative

Attila Mong is a freelance journalist and CPJ’s Berlin-based Europe representative. He is a former John S. Knight Journalism Fellow and a Hoover Institution research fellow, both at Stanford University. In Hungary, he was awarded the Pulitzer Memorial Prize for Best Investigative Journalism in 2004 and the Soma Investigative Journalism Prize in 2003.

Hungarian journalists fear Orbán will use election win to tighten grip on independent media

As Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán celebrated his landslide election win on Sunday with jubilant jibes at the European Union’s “bureaucrats in Brussels” and international media, the country’s independent journalists braced themselves for an even harsher media climate during his Fidesz party’s unprecedented fourth consecutive term in office. Orbán has systematically eroded Hungary’s independent…

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Hungary’s Szabolcs Panyi on how Pegasus surveillance has hindered his reporting

It took five months for Hungary to acknowledge publicly that it had bought the Pegasus spyware allegedly used to hack the phones of hundreds around the world. In November, Lajos Kósa, a top official from Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party, acknowledged the purchase in a media interview after a parliamentary meeting; Minister of the Interior Sándor…

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Hungary’s Klubrádió owner András Arató on how the station is responding to the loss of its broadcast license

After more than 10 years providing a key platform for reporters and listeners to voice criticism of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán via FM radio, the Budapest-based Klubrádió station is now operating entirely online after authorities blocked its broadcasting license. The move was the culmination of a long campaign to force the station off air,…

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‘It is becoming unbearable:’ Journalists say they have become ‘scapegoats’ at anti-vaccine protests

Journalists covering demonstrations against COVID-19 countermeasures have been called “terrorists,” “pedophiles,” “murderers,” and “scumbags.” Protesters have harassed and assaulted members of the press, and told them that “the nooses are ready.” Threats like these have become increasingly familiar for reporters in Europe and the United States, where the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a CPJ partner,…

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‘Action should follow words’: Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family wants Maltese journalists to work without fear

Last week’s indictment of businessman Yorgen Fenech marked a critical step in the quest for accountability in the murder of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.   According to news reports, Malta’s attorney general has called for a life sentence plus an additional 20 to 30 years behind bars for Fenech, the alleged mastermind of…

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Iceland fishing company goes ‘guerilla’ on journalists who uncovered alleged corruption

When in March of this year a neighbor alerted Helgi Seljan, an investigative reporter for Iceland’s public broadcaster Ríkisútvarpið (RÚV), that she had seen someone lurking around his house, he was alarmed, he told CPJ in a video interview.  Seljan said that the neighbor recognized the alleged lurker as Jón Óttar Ólafsson, a former police…

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‘The most dangerous situation’: Serbian journalists accused of links to organized crime

In March, when a reporter at Serbian investigative news site KRIK asked President Aleksandar Vučić at a press conference about the government’s alleged links to organized crime, governing party politicians and pro-government media outlets turned the claim back on KRIK.  They accused the journalists of being part of a criminal network, which KRIK has forcefully denied, as CPJ…

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Mission Journal: ‘Trench warfare’ in Polish press as government eyes next election cycle

“Media without choice.” On February 10, this sentence ran on the otherwise empty front page of Gazeta Wyborcza, the largest critical newspaper in Poland. On the same day, Radio ZET, a commercial radio station, ran this message on repeat, evoking the country’s communist past: “You will not hear any of our normal broadcasts today…We are…

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Q&A: Financial Times reporters Dan McCrum and Stefania Palma on Wirecard and pressures on business journalists

Dan McCrum and Stefania Palma, business reporters for the Financial Times, spent years investigating German payments company Wirecard and revealed in a series of articles that the darling of the stock markets and the German tech scene faked its accounts. When it filed for insolvency in June 2020, Wirecard owed creditors billions of dollars, and…

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Journalist Patricia Devlin on working in Northern Ireland: ‘I feel vulnerable and I feel threatened’

Over the past two years, crime and paramilitary and sectarian attacks have risen in Northern Ireland, fueled by economic stagnation, a power vacuum in the regional government, and the fallout from Brexit, according to news reports. In this climate, journalists are also increasingly at risk: freelance reporter Lyra McKee was killed in April 2019, and…

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