Editor’s note: The following article is one of 30 that we’ve selected from our archives to celebrate World Politics Review’s 15th anniversary. You can find the full collection here.
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.