Media Law Conference Hosted by Institute of Media Sciences and HAS

Published: 30 October 2014


“Freedom of the press and media regulation in the early 21st century” was the title of the conference hosted by the Institute of Media Sciences of the NMHH’s Media Council and the Media Sciences Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) last Thursday in Budapest designed to offer an overview of the latest findings in this specific field.

Held at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of Pázmány Péter Catholic University, the conference featured two chairmen: András Koltay, a member of NMHH’s Media Council for the morning and Levente Nyakas, Head of the Institute for Media Studies for the afternoon session. The presentations were held by members of the young generation of media law researchers from various law faculties all over the country, who have invigorated research activities in media sciences and media law over the past years. After the presentations, a debate forum offered an opportunity to conference participants to ask questions about and make comments on the presentations.

The conference also featured presentations on the theoretical backgrounds to the legal status of European media regulatory authorities, the presence of pluralism as a media law value, the options to limit the freedom of speech violation one’s religious beliefs, the European fundamentals of programme quota regulations, the constitutional guarantees to protect democratic political discourse in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the arguments of the U.S. Supreme Court in court cases on the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press.

The lectures of the afternoon session informed the conference attendees about the common benchmark of the European countries pertaining to the protection of journalists’ information sources and compliance with the requirements for balanced communication. They also showcased the theoretical backgrounds of the Hungarian and European approaches to media law sanctions, the similarities and differences of the media regulation authorities with case studies from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, and provided an overview on the fundamental issues of protecting the reputation and honour of public figures.

Being one of the hosts of the conference, MTMI conducts independent media-related scientific activities, through which channel it also supports the operation of the Media Council. The focal points of those core activities include media regulation researches; a thematic analysis of the media regulations and current media law issues of European states; press and media history research; and the media market players and media consumption of the four ethnic Hungarian regions of the Carpathian Basin (Transcarpathia, Transylvania, Vojvodina and Upper Hungary). The written version of the conference lectures edited by András Koltay and Bernát Török has been recently published by Wolters Kluwer (CompLex) as a joint media law publication of MTMI and HAS.