The editorial staff of Index is in danger.
A little less than two years ago, we created a barometer where anybody can check if Index.hu works freely or not. At that time, the staff of Index made a unanimous statement saying that there are two basic prerequisites for our continued operation: Index's editorial independence and that there is no outside interference in our staffing decisions.
We wanted to cut through the fog of rumours and conspiracy theories and have a way to unmistakeably let our readers know when we think there is trouble.
NOW THERE IS TROUBLE. THE STAFF AND INDEPENDENCE OF INDEX ARE IN GRAVE DANGER.
Index is under such external pressure that could spell out the end of our editorial staff as we know it. We are concerned that with the proposed organisational overhaul, we will lose those values that made Index.hu the biggest and most-read news site in Hungary.
We are not sure that we will be able to keep working this way for long, and since we believe in the power of the public, we are on the opinion that you, as our readers, must know about this.
The next couple of days will determine the fate of Index. We will keep you updated on the developments here on the site as long as we can, as long as we are allowed.
As long as we are free. The news site we love and would love is independent, autonomous, and operates without external influence, it works freely and as a single organisation.
- We want a news site the existence and operation of which does not depend on the unpredictable and ever-changing tastes of political and economical powers.
- We want a news site where politicians and messengers of the government or economic actors have no power to pull a story.
- We want a news site where headlines and cover pictures are selected by the authors and editors.
- We want a news site where the members of the staff decide what headlines, videos, and photos get real estate on the front page.
- We want a news site that is not afraid to cover scandals, abuses of power, and where no hands tremble if they have to write down names of politicians and public servants when they get involved in uncomfortable stories. Not even if those concerned get mad.
- We want a news site where the editors and journalists are thinking together to determine if something is newsworthy, and if so, in what way it should be covered.
- We want a news site where external advisors with shady political backgrounds, appearing out of the blue, have no say in the structure of our editorial staff.
- We want a news site that readers can depend on to cover the stories and tips they send us, be it about an authority pushing them around, the antics of a power-drunk local petty monarch, or any abuse of power.
- And we want a news site that can do that while protecting the anonymity of the sources.
We are not at all sure that we will be able to keep making a news site like that for long in the future, but as we are firm believers in the power of the public, we think that this is something that you, as our readers, must know.
In the upcoming days, the fate of Index will be settled. We will keep you updated on the developments here on Index and on Facebook as long as we can. As long as we are allowed.
AS LONG AS WE ARE FREE.
The list of signatories at 7:30 AM on 22 June:
Bődey János Gergely
Nagy Attila Károly
Szalma Baksi Ferenc
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