RFE/RL's Hungarian Service: Szabad Európa
Szabad Európa, a 21st-century update of RFE/RL’s storied Hungarian Service, provides objective reporting via digital platforms in an EU country that has witnessed a deteriorating of the media environment and a pro-government biased centralization of the market.
- Closed in 1993 and relaunched September 2020 because of deteriorating and polarized media climate.
- The Service operates digitally via its website, social media platforms, podcasts, and newsletter.
- Works to counter increasing Russian and Chinese influence in the country, publishing investigations about surveillance technology.
- Covered 2022 parliamentary election; interviewed opposition leader Péter Márki-Zay, breaking news about his fears of government interference.
- Published story that state media conglomerate MTVA twisted reporting; Hungarian courts ruled documents about state media editorial content must be turned over to Service.
- Broke news Hungary vetoed EU statement criticizing Turkey for human rights advocate Osman Kavala’s life sentence.
- Podcast 'Szelfi' (Selfie) won a Chance Lab Association award (2021 & 2022) for supporting equality.
- 2022 Transparency International award runner-up for story about wasteful spending of EU funds.
January – December 2022
- Website: 8 million visits; 11.5 million page views
- Facebook: 47.8 million video views; 9.8 million engaged users
- YouTube: 18.7 million views; 276,000 subscribers
- Instagram: 43,000 video views; 2,400 followers
Updated: April 2023