Index vows to stay independent after ownership changes

Analysis

Hungarian online news portal index.hu has vowed to stay editorially independent in the face of recent ownership changes, publishing an article clarifying the situation on Tuesday.

"We do not want anything but to keep doing what we have been doing: journalism, specifically the kind that is independent from the right, the left, Fidesz, the MSzP, Jobbik, the Red Army, or the Wehrmacht," Index said in the article.

According to the portal, the only significant change is happening with respect to the websiteʼs ad spaces, since CEMP SH, responsible for Indexʼs ad spaces and IT services, has been acquired by Gábor Ziegler and József Oltyán. The duo also acquired NP Nanga Parbat 17 Zrt., the founding company of Magyar Fejlődésért Alapítvány (Foundation for Hungarian Development), from László Bodolai.

The shares of index.huʼs publisher, Index Zrt., are nevertheless set to remain in the property of the Foundation for Hungarian Development, which is controlled by Bodolai, noted the portal.

Index claims that the current ownership scheme will allow the siteʼs editorial staff to operate freely, and the fact that their editor-in-chief is always picked from the pool of staff by staff members also acts as a safeguard.

"There are two basic conditions under which, if not met, Index cannot function properly. One is our editorial independence, meaning that our staff members – adhering to the journalistic standards we hold – produce whatever content they want. No outsider can have a say in our editorial decisions. The other condition is that no outsider can interfere with our decisions regarding which people work in the editorial staff," Index asserted.

Index has created a website tracking whether the portalʼs own staff think their independence is in danger. The pointer of a meter below the heading "Index is currently:" indicates "independent" (in green), "in danger" (yellow), or "not independent" (in red).

ADVERTISEMENT

Bulgaria jobless rate falls to record low in August Figures

Bulgaria jobless rate falls to record low in August

Opposition parties to begin PM candidate primaries Elections

Opposition parties to begin PM candidate primaries

New editor-in-chief at Betone Studio Appointments

New editor-in-chief at Betone Studio

Budapest leaders make public transport free for under-14s City

Budapest leaders make public transport free for under-14s

SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL

Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.