How free is the media? Kate Coyer took part in Battle of Ideas event

CMCS Executive Director Kate Coyer was one of the speakers at the Battle of Ideas 2013 session in Budapest on October 16, How free is the media? The state of regulation today. The discussion centered around, among other things, the impacts of the Hungarian media laws that were adopted in 2010 and the new forms of press regulation being proposed in Britain in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry.

The other speakers at the event were Ákos Gergely Balogh, chief editor of the Mandiner news portal; Ferenc Hammer, Associate Professor at the Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies, ELTE; and Bruno Waterfield, Brussels correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. The discussion was chaired by Angus Kennedy, head of external relations at the Institute of Ideas. 

The speakers considered questions such as: Is it naïve to think that the press should be free to self-regulate or is it possible to set up regulatory bodies free of party political bias? Would Hungary’s new media council be unobjectionable if its members were not appointed by Parliament but by some other body? Who then should they be appointed by? If the press is free to speak truth to power, is it not right that power sometimes ‘tell truth to the press’? Are the days of a bad but free press over and the days of a good but state controlled press beginning?