RTL Klub asks Kövér to lift news crew ban

History

In an open letter to László Kövér, RTL Klub’s News Director Róbert Kotroczó asked the Speaker of the House to withdraw the ban on RTL Klub news crews from entering Parliament following their attempt to attend and report on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s meeting with NATO officials.

The letter above was published on RTL Klubʼs news site.

“My colleagues have never sought to violate the rules, but they have always regarded informing the public a priority”, the news director writes, arguing that when the channel’s news crew tried to attend and report on the joint press conference with Orbán and NATO officials, they were barred entry.

RTL Klub, the largest TV channel in Hungary, claimed that Hungarian news agency MTI and state-owned all news channel M1 were allowed to report on the press conference. They recorded their own attempt to enter the room, and aired the footage on the channel that evening. RTL Klub says they were aware that if they aired the footage, they would be banned from Parliament, as under house rules, they are not allowed to record in the corridors.

“My colleagues followed the rules of their profession, when they were trying to gather information on a happening that seemed to be of public interest. There were no loud words uttered. Nobody was offended or hurt. They did not receive an acceptable explanation from the government communication crew as to why they were not allowed to record a public event, or why a journalist, who holds a permanent Parliament pass, which includes regular background security checks, could not attend such an event,” the news director writes.

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