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A newsstand displays Saturday papers including Nepszabadsag daily, Budapest, Hungary, Oct. 8, 2016 (AP photo by Andras Nagy).

How Orban Redrew Hungary’s Media Map to Solidify His Power

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

On a Saturday morning in October 2016, the website of Nepszabadsag, Hungary’s leading political daily and one of its longest-running publications, went offline. Its staff had been packing all week, preparing to move to a new office building, and so they suspected a technical glitch was to blame. But they soon began to text each other frantically: Some were unable to sign into their emails, and others had received hand-delivered letters from the paper’s owner, Mediaworks, notifying them of their suspension from work.

By late afternoon, the website was back online, with a message stating that the publication had been suspended “until the creation and implementation of a new concept.” Two weeks later, Nepszabadsag was sold; the new owner, who allegedly has ties to the Hungarian government, had no intention of resuscitating it. The paper was shut down soon thereafter. ...

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