Media advocate pleased Hungary scrapped newsroom spies plan

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A leading media advocate has welcomed Hungary's decision to abandon a plan to plant spies in newsrooms but said she remains disturbed that Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government would even contemplate the "Orwellian" idea.

Hungary's Interior Ministry was preparing an amendment to a security law that could have forced media and other companies to add secret agents from national security services to their staffs. The government backed away from the idea Thursday following an outcry from Hungarian media.

Dunja Mijatovic, media freedom representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told The Associated Press on Friday that scrapping the idea is a "good decision."

She said: "Just the idea of having secret agents present in a newsroom is something that I find outrageously dangerous. It's an Orwellian practice."