freedom of the press

Atlatszo was awarded the Hungarian Press Prize by the Association of Hungarian Journalists

Every year, the Association of Hungarian Journalists (MÚOSZ) honours journalists and editorial teams for their outstanding achievements on the occasion of the Hungarian Press Day. The Hungarian Press Prize is the highest award given by the MÚOSZ: this year, it was given to Dániel Ács (444), Katalin Halmai (Népszava) and the editorial team of Átlátszó.

From 1700, after the expulsion of the Turks, Hungary was a part of the Habsburg empire. On 15 March 1848 started a revolution against the Habsburgs in Budapest, where the youth printed their 12-point demand. The first claim was this: „We want freedom of the press, abolition of censorship”. This list was the one of the first products of the free press, so 15 March is the Hungarian Press Day since 1990, when Hungary became a democracy.

The Association of Hungarian Journalists (MÚOSZ) gives many awards on this day for Hungarian press workers. The Hungarian Press Prize is the highest award of the MÚOSZ, by wich the organisation honours those individual journalists and editorial teams, whose achievements are considered to be outstanding.

This year’s Hungarian Press Day ceremony of MÚOSZ was held on 13 March at the headquarters of the association, in Budapest. The opening speech was delivered by Ilona Kocsi, President of MÚOSZ. She spoke about how much work is behind every single article, report or interview that exposes the truth. After her, József Péter Martin, CEO of Transparency International Hungary highlighted how important is the freedom of the press, because it is a cornerstone of democracy and reduces corruption.

The speeches were followed by the presentation of awards.

The highest award of the Association of Hungarian Journalists, the Hungarian Press Prize, was presented to the editorial team of Atlatszo, and two journalists, Dániel Ács (444) and Katalin Halmai (Népszava).

Péter Uj, editor-in-chief of 444, a member of the commitee awarding the prize, gave the eulogy to Atlatszo. He mentioned how many important corruption stories we uncovered since our launch in 2011. For example, the secret  luxury jets and private jachts of the governing elite of Hungary, or the canopy walkway without trees funded by the European Union.

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Uj highlighted that Atlatszo’ greatest merit is, that instead of doing business, it always focused to the social mission of journalism, holding power to account and to “watchdog”. He said that the Hungarian Press Prize was presented to  Atlatszo, because the investigative media outlet “successfully and self-sacrificingly carries out the social task it has undertaken, setting an example not only for the post-democracy press, but also for the post-democracy citizenry”.

Uj also mentioned the most recent propaganda attack started against Atlatszo just a day before the ceremony as a sign of general importance and significance of our outlet.

The Hungarian version of this story can be found here. Photo: Eszter Katus, Tamás Bodoky, Katalin Erdélyi and Zsuzsa Bodnár with the award on 13 March, 2024 (Photo credit: Atlatszo/Bence Bodoky)