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Friday, January 18, 2013

An "example" of press freedom

One of the important opposition on line portals has exhausted its resources and announced that it will suspend and eventually finish its activities. Galamus announced that they are only producing debt since two months and the support received since their first call mid-December was not enough. The portal was radically left-leaning liberal and some associated it with Ferenc Gyurcsány, the ex-prime minister who tried to stop indebtedness with austerity against the resistance from its own party and also the forceful actions of allegedly right-wing FIDESZ, who wanted to explain the people that no austerity is necessary and torpedoed healthcare reform and study fees for universities through a referendum. It is not subject of this post to evaluate his activities and views, but the portal Galamus was not associated with his person and did not operate as the "house media" of his tiny party (he parted the Socialists). An important piece of media freedom is breaking down. This is the second time the portal is in difficulties, readers saved it the first time, and they also introduced a sort of "subscription" although the portal remained open. Thus, apparently, the subscription system did not work. I also sent them a subscription like I am subscribed to another paper, Élet és Irodalom, or in short "ÉS" Life and Literature in English, a clearly liberal, intelligentsia-oriented, high level paper, which offers subscription to its electronic edition (saving paper and being also more affordable), but as there only some articles can be read without subscription, I do not forget to renew it. Back to Galamus: a reader opened the space for "12 angry men" by sending himself 1Mn HUF (about 3 600EUR) - 12 times this amount would cover one year of operation. But smaller amounts from more people can also help. So maybe we will succeed again. I sent some money again and I also call my readers if they can afford to do it: IBAN: HU25-1070-0419-6649-3934-5000-0005 Galamus csoport. There was another magazine, more for the young and cheeky free-thinkers: Magyar Narancs , Hungarian orange. For readers who do not understand Hungarian, as a consolation that they cannot read these papers I explain at least the title. It is clear that in Hungary it is not possible to grow oranges in the open air. The Communist system in the fifties tried this, of course without success. A film A Tanú (The Witness) - made in 1969 but screened onlyn a decade later - has as one of the adventures of the hero to lead the farm where they succeed in producing an orange. Just before presenting it to the big party boss, however, his children ate up this rare delicacy (I think I don't have to explain the political importance of this - Cuba produced oranges which were only good to squeeze out their juice but not to eat directly.) Nad thy put a lemon in its place. When the big boss tried the "orange", the hero could not otherwise but say: this is the Hungarian orange - "a little yellow, a little sour, but ours". Have a nice week-end!

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