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Guardian: State media told not to show images of refugee children

Hungarian state television has requested its employees to exclude footage of children from broadcasts of the refugee crisis in Hungary, according to a leaked screenshot of an editorial memo addressed to journalists at Hungary’s flagship station M1, the Guardian reported yesterday.

A refugee girl in Debrecen recently. Her father said he brought her here to save her from the threat of kidnapping in Afghanistan. (Photo: Jessica Fejos)

Hungary’s Media Service Support and Asset Management Fund (MTVA) denied reports that M1’s intent is to minimize the sympathy viewers might feel towards refugees but said the idea was to protect the identity of the children, the daily noted.

A government friendly journalist, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Guardian that M1 has occasionally shown images of children in the past but not to the extent of opposition media, in which the journalist feels children are overrepresented.

M1 has been selective in its coverage of the refugee crisis on the whole according to the Guradian, with demonstrations against government policies and the work of migration aid organizations such as MigSzol receiving minimal media coverage.

MigSzol is known for its critical stance on the government and this is a factor that prevents pro-government media from giving it a platform, the source was cited as saying.