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Left-wing journalist: Most NGOs, including Amnesty International, control foreign journalists

The Magyar Nemzet is the main daily outlet of Hungary. Founded in 1938, the Magyar Nemzet (Hungarian Nation) is a reference journal for the conservatives of Hungary. The conservative newspaper is close to the current Hungarian government lead by Viktor Orbán.

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This article was published online by the Magyar Nemzet on 3 February 2022.

The bulky folder of documents recently sent to the daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet from an unknown e-mail address contains plenty of interesting information even beyond the “admission” of the former director of the Soros Foundations. A veritable gem is, for instance, a Skype interview with left-wing journalist Mátyás Kálmán in which the former contributor of the news portals and Index said, that during their work they receive thorough instructions about whom they are allowed to talk to, and also spoke about how they depend on NGOs.

Various NGOs (non-governmental organisations) manipulate or even mislead journalists reporting about Hungary, who then describe events taking place in Hungary in a rather distorted light, the Skype interview conducted with Mátyás Kálmán reveals. In the recording that came into our newspaper’s possession, the former contributor of the news portals and Index told his unidentified interviewer the following:

There is no way of knowing whether (the given journalist) received an invitation to a nice hotel, and how much he or she was offered to write the story that they want to hear about in the media, Mr Kálmán said.

He also mentioned a personal experience of his own:

he was invited to Brussels and Strasbourg to report on specific events. In situations like this, journalists are effectively instructed where to go and whom to talk to. When a journalist is in a foreign country, they need an organiser that they can trust in order to put them into contact with the best sources and experts,

he stated.

According to the video journalist, it is not healthy that members of the press are dependent on NGOs to such an extent, and he took the view that under the circumstances it is difficult to provide transparent reporting. “If a journalist relies on an NGO for everything, they become entirely independent on that organisation, and that is not a desirable outcome. If there is a major international event, say a refugee crisis, which attracts many journalists, they are evidently not invited to the scene by NGOs, but are sent there to cover the story. However, once they’re there, their options regarding whom to rely on for information during their limited stay are rather restricted, Mr Kálmán highlighted.

The former contributor of mentioned the human rights organisation sponsored by George Soros as one of the NGOs which seek to control journalists. “Are you aware of any NGOs which made foreign journalists dependent on them, and actually restricted their freedom?” Mr Kálmán’s interviewer asked. In reply, he said:

“I believe that most NGOs do just that, including Amnesty International.”

As we reported earlier, Magyar Nemzet came into possession of a several-hour-long English-language Skype interview with Andrej Nosko who was a director and head of division of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) until 2018. In that capacity, he oversaw the distribution of one third of the grants awarded to think tanks at the Open Society Initiative’s European division. At present, Mr Nosko is the European director of PILnet in Budapest.

In the interview, Mr Nosko said, among others, that the reports of the international media about Hungary and Poland are distorted, biased and superficial.

He also said standards in the European media have lately fallen to an all-time low. “To put the problem into perspective, today mainstream media outlets have far fewer foreign correspondents, and they additionally report on the affairs of multiple countries. This in turn results in intellectual laziness in the mainstream media which has also played a prominent role in the development of the phenomenon described earlier. As a result, it is very easy to criticise Poland and Hungary without citing actual arguments,” Mr Nosko stated. In other words, he added, these reports are biased.

He mentioned as an example that

when he worked for George Soros’s foundations, foreign journalists who contacted them were regularly referred by staff members with an angle of their own to colleagues whose convictions were similar to their own.

On a number of occasions, Mr Nosko himself hired journalists to promote the materials of awarded think tanks.

In other words, the playing field wasn’t exactly level, the former director of OSF admitted. The image depicted in the international media of events and circumstances in Hungary is further distorted by the fact that foreign journalists don’t speak Hungarian, and therefore most of them can only rely on secondary sources. At the same time, these secondary sources frequently provide distorted information, among others, as regards the legitimacy of the Hungarian government, Mr Nosko said.

The information revealed by the former director of the Open Society Foundations is confirmed by a news report recently published in the Spanish press about the coordinated liberal attacks on Hungary and Poland. The report that caused quite a stir referred to the private conversations of former Spanish Member of the European Parliament Carolina Punset. The politician who as an MEP for the liberal Cuidadanos (Citizens’ party) belonged to the liberal ALDE party family in the European Parliament said the real enemies of freedom of speech are not Hungary or Poland, but the Brussels advocates of political correctness. In a series of private conversations, the former MEP revealed that

while Hungary and Poland are being continually condemned in Brussels, the most important threats to freedom of speech such as Islamist attacks on journalists and women are not even reported because journalists are afraid of the consequences: attacks from the advocates of political correctness and Muslim radicals.