After the resignation of editor-in-chief Szabolcs Dull of Index, the largest independent news site in Hungary, has seventy employees filed their resignation.
Last Wednesday, the editor-in-chief was fired by the new owners of Index. According to official statements, the editor-in-chief was fired for having “insufficient control over the editorial and financial situation of Index“.
Dull himself thinks he was fired because of his columns about attempts to influence from the outside and because he warned against tarnishing the site’s independence.
Two-thirds of the editorial board resigned after the board rejected their request to recruit Dull. The forced resignation of the editor-in-chief is raising concerns of Hungarian journalists about “an attack on the free press” by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s nationalist government.
‘Independent journalism is no longer possible’
According to the editorial board, after Dull has left, it is no longer possible to conduct journalism independently. “There are two preconditions for independence: no interference in our texts, nor in the corporate structure,” said the Index-journalists.
The Orbán government was previously discredited because of the restrictive policy on Hungarian media. Since taking office in 2010, almost all media has been replaced by a pro-government media conglomerate.