Balázs Nagy Navarro and Aranka Szávuly were under constant attack by state-controlled media after protesting news manipulation on public television in Hungary.
The two Hungarian journalists Balázs Nagy Navarro and Aranka Szávuly are vice-presidents of the Independent Trade Union of television and film makers in Hungary and, until recently, were editors at public Hungarian television “MTV”. On 10 December 2011, after a scandalous blurring out of Zoltan Lomnici, the former head of the Hungarian Supreme Court, in public television news, Nagy Navarro and Szávuly initiated a three-week hunger strike protesting against news manipulation by pro-government responsibles of the channel. On the 17th day of the hunger strike, Nagy Navarro and Szávuly were dismissed illegally. After their dismissal they were not allowed to enter the public media buildings despite their rights as trade union leaders. Half a year later, Nagy Navarro was allowed by court order to pick up his personal belongings from the building. With the entry into force of the internationally controversial Hungarian media law in January 2011, the leading positions of public broadcasting have been filled with cadres close to the ruling party FIDESZ. These people abuse their powerful positions to manipulate news information almost daily, say numerous employees of the stations. In order to protest against these practices, Nagy Navarro and Szávuly started a hunger strike on 10 December 2011, which continued until 31 December. Shortly before, both editors were dismissed, although they enjoy protection from dismissal as trade unionists. Since their public protest, Nagy Navarro and Szávuly are often defamed or criticized by FIDESZ-controlled media outlets. When asked about his commitment, Nagy Navarro said: “I must always remember, that elsewhere people are risking their lives for civil rights. I am only risking my job.”