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22nd May, 2018

Guardian barred from covering conference

The 21st Century Institute run by Mária Schmidt, head of the House of Terror Museum and one of the owners of the political weekly Figyelo, has rejected UK daily the Guardian’s application for press accreditation for an upcoming conference of the Institute, the news site 444 reported on Monday.

Shaun Walker, who works for the daily, wrote on Twitter that he wanted to cover the conference entitled The Future of Europe on the premises, but his accreditation was turned down on the grounds that the Institute has received too many applications. He was offered the opportunity to watch a live broadcast of the conference instead.

Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, former human resources minister Zoltán Balog and Steve Bannon, who was White House Chief Strategist during the first seven months of US President Donald Trump’s administration, will address the conference.

Walker observed that not even in Russia had he experienced such a thing that he was not granted press accreditation to cover a conference.

In another, media-related step, news site Index’s staff was simply ushered out from a soccer match of Kisvárda over the weekend despite having been accredited. The crew had received accreditation in line with usual protocol and travelled 300 kilometres in the hope of covering the match.

First, they were told that they are not on the press list, and then were only allowed to enter after several phone calls. The security guard, who allowed them to enter, told them to leave when former development minister Miklós Seszták arrived at the game.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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