Sunday, 8 June 2014
From wsj
Hungary’s supreme court said commercial television channel ATV breached the law when it referred to right-wing party Jobbik as “far right” in a newscast in 2012.

Overturning a ruling by a lower court, the supreme court said that ATV had violated a ban on newscasters expressing opinions when it described Jobbik in a news program as a “parliamentary far-right party.” The lawsuit was launched by the Hungarian media authority NMHH.

Jobbik is currently the second-biggest Hungarian party in the European Parliament and the third-largest party in the Hungarian national parliament.

The leader of France’s National Front, Marine Le Pen, has said she wouldn’t align with more extreme parties like Hungary’s Jobbik because of Jobbik’s anti-Semitism. Jobbik has recently declared it’s not anti-Semitic.

The term ‘far right’ is an expression of opinion and not the statement of a fact, the court ruling reads.

“Jobbik doesn’t consider itself an extreme-right party thus referring to it with the adjective ‘far right’ constitutes an act of expressing an opinion, making it possible for the viewer to associate it with a radical movement and induce a negative impression,” it adds.

“Even a single word, a single epithet may be suitable influence on the viewer,
” the court said.

Opinion and evaluation may only be published separately from news and with the identification of the author, the jurors said.

ATV will study the ruling and consider its legal options, ATV news director Szilard Nemeth told The Wall Street Journal. It may turn to the Constitutional Court over the issue, he added.

“The court has made an unrealistic decision, we don’t see how this could be an expression of opinion,” Mr. Nemeth said. “This is such a serious matter that we are ready to go to extremes.” Media and political scientists may use this term as a technical one all over the world, he added.

“It may serve as a very bad precedent and message to the world if the court interferes this deep with editorial issues,” Mr. Nemeth added.

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