Dec 30 2017

Turkey, Hungary and Poland all suffering similar press freedom rollbacks

The patterns of attacks on press freedoms is similar in Turkey, Hungary and Poland, where populist leaders see a free press as a threat rather than a pillar of a democratic society, according to an AP special report.

“In theory, Turkey, Hungary and Poland also guarantee freedom of speech and of the press,” the report said. “The principles were enshrined in the Polish and Hungarian constitutions following the collapse of communism in 1989, and in Turkey’s constitution decades earlier.”

However, the news agency said, “These are trying and dangerous times for the media in countries that until recently had begun embracing democratic norms of free expression. News organizations are under attack in dramatic ways, as elected governments turn public outlets into their mouthpieces and try to silence critical voices.”

Populist governments – including the Donald Trump presidency in America – are making critical reporting ever more difficult, the report said.

Their aim, it quoted Freedom House president Michael Abramowitz as saying, is “to ensure that negative coverage about the regime is marginalised and positive coverage dominates, especially for the plurality of citizens whose support you need to continue to rule.”

 

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