International Press Institute: This would be a devastating blow to the Hungarian public’s right to information
Every country needs strong, independent media. In Hungary, where the government has spent the last 10 years dismantling media freedom and discrediting journalists, Index stands as one of the last and most important bastions of independent journalism. The loss of Index’s independence would be a devastating blow to the Hungarian public’s right to information – one that cannot be overstated. For this alone, Index deserves the support of people everywhere who care about a free society.
Index’s journalists do what journalists everywhere are supposed to do: report on issues of public interest, regardless of whether this pleases those in power. They work to tell the stories that matter, something that’s never been more important than now, as Hungary and the rest of the world deals with the consequences of the ongoing pandemic. The International Press Institute (IPI) and its members around the world stand in solidarity with Index in its fight to remain independent and deliver the news people need.
Věra Jourová: Economic pressure should not turn into political pressure
SOLIDARITY WITH INDEX JOURNALISTS
Democracy cannot work without free and independent media.
The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated, more than ever, the crucial role of journalists to inform citizens, to check facts and to hold governments to account.
But while readership and audiences have been record high, revenues have been heavily hit. Economic pressure should not turn into political pressure.
I have been following the situation of Index with concern. I would like to express my solidarity with the staff of Index who has been working under very difficult conditions.
I want to tell you: “What you are doing, the values you are fighting for, media freedom and pluralism, are essential for democracy, and for Europe – and all the supporting messages of your readers testify of the importance of your work”.
You can count on my support.
Věra Jourová is the Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency.
Sello: I don't want to become a constipated, humourless intellectual!
My Index: You show me the places where I can eat great food or see a really exciting exhibition.
I learn something new every day, for instance why my nose runs when I cry or why I need to go to the toilet more often when I'm at a bath.
I develop withdrawal symptoms if I can't get my fix of daily "Index-humour" and that special "Index-tone" so I often read you when I travel as well. I always envy how you write the truth while I leave the silly things of my boss to him, just so I could return home to my love and my son.
I am staggered seeing how you cover all areas of life from organic markets to smartphones, from Szabolcs Hajdu to Dybala. I hate your podcasts because I can't read the "Index-phrases." Don't you fucking end, because you are there with me on the toilet each morning, and I don't want to become a constipated, humourless intellectual!
Ildikó: Its greatest virtue is fearlessness
To me, the greatest virtue of Index is that it's not afraid to run stories that contain unflattering, or sometimes straight-up condemning information about the government and circles close to Fidesz. I can only hope that you fact-check all of your articles before they go out because the main reason I read your site is that I trust Index more than any of its Hungarian competitors. I am only interested in the truth, I don't want propaganda from the right or left, not even from the centre.
Gábor: You are the most damaging group of traitors!
You are the most damaging group of traitors who think everything is more important than normal things, things that are Hungarian. From the rights of gipsy criminals through the Africans that swarm Europe like locusts to the gay lobbyists who promote degeneration, you hold everything in higher regard than our nation and our values. The only thing I want to know is if you think you really are an independent website. If so, then this leftist-liberal villainy must come from your guts. You preach about European values while you neglect that it is your kind that is ushering in the end for this wonderful country and Europe. I hope you will be out of commission soon. Worst regards,
Mária: Index keeps my faith in being Hungarian
Dear Index staff! I live in England with my family, my husband is also Hungarian. We left Hungary 24 years ago thinking we would move back to our beloved homeland in a couple of years... We were waiting, looking for the moment to move back permanently. That moment never arrived, because we found that it's better for us and for our children to stay here. This decision was not and still is not easy to stomach, as we yearn for our country like any other honest person who lives far away from home.
This is where Index enters the picture, constantly reinforcing my faith that I am Hungarian each and every day, it helped me become patriotic, I've been a faithful reader and supporter for the past eight years.
I love all of your articles, your tone, your editing, your headlines, everything, really. These give me a full picture of what is happening in Hungary, and I often see that I am more informed about the events in Hungary than my relatives and friends who live there. And once I'm reading Index, I read about the news of the world there as well. I love it. I love to read international news in Hungarian. They reach me more strongly. I wish you a lot of strength and will to go on, and I hope that no changes will affect your staff.
Ádám: Index works to keep the game fair and clean
Hi to all! So I saw this opportunity, and I will not waste my breath any longer: I do not necessarily agree with you on everything, but your worldview is much closer to me than that of the other side. If you don't mind, I will describe the situation with an analogy. There is a person who knows the rules of chess, is willing to play, and will win or lose in accordance with his skill and knowledge. Winning or losing in itself is secondary, as he enjoys the game, looks at the person on the other side of the table as an opponent, and plays by the rules. Then there is a person who, even though he knows chess, and could subject himself to its rules, knows that there is a chance of losing in there. So in order to avoid that, he goes ahead and breaks both hands of his opponent to make sure the other guy can't even lift a piece.
I am not exactly a grandmaster of chess, but as a layman, I'd much rather follow a balanced game instead of one where a player sits wrapped up in bandages. To me, that is Index - a site that respects the rules and works to keep the game fair and clean. All the best!
Tibor: I wake up and go to bed with Index
In two sentences: I wake up and go to sleep with Index. Not out of love, but because you are really an independent, objective, multi-faceted, sometimes scientific, sometimes entertaining portal. I get informed here on every single day.
If Fidesz minces you, then for the first time in my life at the age of 54, I would go to a protest for you, because I am a hundred per cent sure that there would be one. And it wouldn't be a flashmob with 150 people. That would shake the system because I think there are two things that bother people the most, one is the System of National Cooperation, the other is the media. Hold on, and I know it's no consolation, but if Index falls, Fidesz falls with it. They wouldn't dare...
Tamás: If Index is no more, there is something really wrong with this country
The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is reading Index, yes, in the place where most people read it.
It is routine.
If Index is no more, then there is something really wrong with this country.
János: I hate it, its ethos repulses me, yet I am a regular reader
I am a regular reader of Index, I spend at least half an hour on it every day. That is true even though I hate it, its ethos repulses me. It is lightyears away from impartial, independent journalism, and I cannot fathom how you lull yourself into this misconception. If you do in fact feel independent, some really interesting impulses must be responsible for this notion. And yet, I read it.
There is only one reason for that: This is the most informative site today. Let's not forget: There is (also) a big lie behind this. The rest of my family and many of my friends feel this way. You could say that we read it because there is nothing else out there to read. Although that's not completely true either: Mandíner is on the upswing too, with force. Best regards,
Gábor: I will even tell you what I hate
I've been living in the United States for some time now, and I only read Index if I want to read about Hungary, I am even a supporter. I have to note that on Index, I even get to read more objective accounts of what happens in my new homeland than what I find on the far-left CNN, Reuters, or the far-right Fox News.
What would happen if there is no independent Index anymore? I will stop following the news in Hungary, I will stay with US news sites, I will leave Hungary behind for good.
I will even tell you what I hate in Index: The clickbait, scaremongering articles that always turn into headlines. You have one or two of those every week.
Gergő Sáling: It is driven by curiosity and not servilism
Hi, so why is Index important? For me, it is important in many ways, on the one hand, it's a contradictory trip of self-discovery, a point of reference even to this day, and it is a never-ending family saga.
I am a journalist too, but coming from an entirely different place, the old Origo, that was pretty much the polar opposite of the old Index. That aside, we could learn a lot from Index: maybe we approached a topic in a completely different way in Origo, but it was always important to see what Index did in certain situations. As different as they were, they completed each other at least as much, and in this situation, we could experience what it means to have a good, healthy competition, from which everybody could learn.
Meanwhile, in the past 8-10 years, Index has changed a lot, not always to its advantage, but in many cases. The fact that such an old and large institution was able to shake itself multiple times and change is a big achievement in itself. Maybe that is why I still check Index if something important happens in Hungary or the world to see how they cover it. I won't necessarily like it, but it is relevant to this day, and in this aspect, there really isn't another Index.
And for me, Index is a family saga as well. A lot of people work there who had been my colleagues at Origo for years who I think are talented journalists and valuable people. Many of these people lived through Origo's destruction, and I am really rooting for them and the others that they can avoid the same fate. The reason why Index is good is not that I agree with them on everything, or that it's infallible, but that it is driven by curiosity instead of servilism, the public good and not selfish interests, that it is written by free-thinking people who are always up for debate and who will never feed you the lie that everything is either black or white and that there is only a single truth.
Gergő Sáling was the last editor-in-chief of Origo before pro-government circles took over the site.
Sándor: A true journalist makes the reader think
It is a simple question, but the answer is more complex. If Index closed, some things would be lost. Independence, freedom, and questions. People who ask questions think. Those who think see. They see things that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Intelligent people think, and a true journalist pushes the reader towards thinking. A row of questions should come up after reading an article, and Index has always been good at that. If they take that away from people, the last morsels of the freedom and democracy we achieved 30 years ago would be lost.
Donát: You have a good team, even if you play football I don't like
I support the government, I'm a right-wing, conservative voter. I cannot relate to the politicised, modern, progressive values Index takes a stand by in its own announcements.
But. I think Index is independent.
It's not always objective, the values, opinions, observations woven by a journalist cannot be objective. We have differing views on the BLM movement, homosexuals' rights, minorities, and matters of public order.
Still, Index is my homepage if it comes to news.
- Because of the scientific, sports, and environmental topics,
- Because of the Big Picture galleries, a lot of work goes into them (the article on the Chinese community in Budapest is exceptional),
- Because of the admitted mistakes,
- And because you dare to criticise political formations that share your values.
There could be an independent, not necessarily objective, but quality right-wing portal with more resources available. But there is no such thing, there are only low-quality websites that get by on the ads of companies that are owned by or linked to the state.
I do not agree with you. When you write about political hot topics, I take it at its value and with reservation. But I wish you good luck, you have a good team, even if you don't play the football I like.
Andrea: If it's not on Index, it didn't happen
Index is a part of my life. I live abroad, so quick and understandable information about my homeland and about world events from a Hungarian perspective on my native language is especially important to me. I start each day by scrolling through Index.
If I have little time, I get the key facts from the front page, and I save things I want to read later and if I'm not in a hurry, and I want to delve into something, I find all the necessary information and sources, going years back if needed.
And when I'm not interested in the serious stuff, I can find a lot of entertaining light reading as well. I can spend my whole day on Index, and by the evening it's full of new stuff so I can start from the top again. I love it mostly because you write about EVERYTHING ranging from top international news, sensitive domestic topics, scientific breakthroughs to squirrel rescue operations, everything.
If it's not on Index, it did not happen.
On Monday, when I saw the barometer set to "in danger," the world has turned with me. I really got scared what would happen to me. If Index is destroyed, what will I read? I asked others as well about where else I could get informed, they said some things, but always added that it is not the same. Soy instead of meat.
When I moved to Spain, I started looking for a similar platform, I thought it's the West, there must be a Spanish equivalent to Index, but I did not find one. A few dailies and news channels have online iterations, but they are all dry, impersonal, boring. This morning, I found an article on Index (blog.hu) that justified this belief. Unsurprisingly, a European survey on trust in news organisations brought Index out on top in Hungary, and placing the Spanish diagram next to it shows that the situation is not half as good here. That is why I often learn about news in Spain on Index.
Besides that, it was one of the best experiences of my life when I appeared on Index. During the quarantine, I started a blog, and one of my posts made it onto the front page with the photo, the one where I was wearing a mask on the empty seashore looking stupid. It was there for a whole day. In those 24 hours, I felt that I am a part of Index as well. It was uplifting to see how many people I reached in such a short time. Thank you for the years of fresh, valuable information. There is no other - there is no better phrase for it, Index already wrote about it.
Dear Index, dear... I almost wrote "friends," but that would have sounded a bit too much like Orbán, so I'll let that one go, even though in this situation, apart from a few exceptions, you are the ones who provide credible information to us, the readers, even if it is not always without bias.
Although a self-respecting media outlet ought to be in opposition at any time, and you spoke the truth to power even before Our High and Wise Leader took to the throne. The frequency and toughness of this ris strongly dependent on how much those in power reflect the rules, it is inversely proportional, which is why Index may seem more oppositional now than ever before.
My heart skipped a beat when I saw that you think you are in danger, my fist clenched and I got cramps in my stomach. I have been pondering moving abroad with my family for quite some time, but we couldn't do it yet as we knew that we would be homesick, but if the System of National Cooperation sets as much as a dirty foot in this place, that will be the last drop and we will be out of here in no time, because that will mean that the last bastion has fallen, the voice of reason went silence, and that is not the sort of environment in which I want to raise my kids.
Emese: I gave up, but you didn't, I appreciate that
Three years ago I decided to leave Hungary because I couldn't even afford to starve to death on the money I made with a university degree, because the government regularly spat democracy in the eye, because they stole, manipulated, and stirred hatred, because they dragged our education system into the mud, and they are currently stealing away the rest of what we've got. We see the end of press freedom, and I'm afraid that one day we will see this in the history books. When the propaganda media gushed over Orbán's new profile picture I thought that is what news must be like in North Korea.
It pains me. It pains me what they are doing to my home, and it angers me beyond words.
This is why we need Index that is always on my phone and even if you do it during my morning shit, you are there to inform me about everything objectively and clearly. (Alright, so it didn't turn out to be as touching as I intended, but it is what it is.) I gave up on the whole thing, but you did not, and I really appreciate that. Do it as long as you can, and if you can't go on on this forum, you have to start again somewhere else! Please.
Andrea: Don't bend to pressure
Index guys, do not bend to any pressure. There is no compromise, hold on!
Bea: I don't want my children to have to read between the lines
When Népszabadság was ground up by the System of National Cooperation, I thought that could be the "end of the world."
When the temporarily normal HírTV was forced back to the government's stable, I thought there would be even bigger problems. (I won't wander off to other areas, let's stay with the quasi-free media). So I thought something would eventually happen, because something needed to happen, it's impossible that we're idly sitting in the swamp of impotence, hopelessness, and forced resignation. But that is what happened, and that is what I'm afraid will happen now as well.
I wish and I want Index not to disappear from the palette of normality that is already pretty narrow. I don't want my children to have to read between the lines as I did, and the best place to prevent that is Index.
Bence: Index means freedom and the right to question
I am Bence Szabó, I'm 24, and Index means exactly what Metropol used to mean to me: Freedom. The freedom to form my own opinion on public matters. The freedom to decide where and how I get my information. The right to question, another perspective that shows another side of the same truth. I want to hold on to my freedom and my right to the facts, I want to hold on to Index.
To me, the closure of Index would mean that we reached a point where it no longer makes sense for me to stay in the country. Not because I couldn't live without an online news source. Everything and everybody is replaceable. But if this Fortress, the last symbol of a hardly existent free and independent press in Hungary, falls despite all the efforts, I will simply lose my faith that things would, could get better in a foreseeable timeframe.
In the practical sense: What do I open first after my eyes every morning to see what happened in the world while I was sleeping? Which site do I visit if I want to know what's going on in the world during the day? Alright, what's going on in the world can be found out elsewhere too, you don't need Hungarian online media for that. But I simply do not want this to happen, hold on for yourselves and for all of us who are with you. Thank you!
János: People are often intentionally manipulated. Who benefits?
You regard yourselves as an objective, credible media outlet. The champions of truth. I have a different opinion. In many cases (not all the time, but most of the time) you publish false, not at all objective articles that intentionally manipulate people.
Who benefits, we could ask. I think you can answer that yourself.
This is an opinion from somebody living in this country, and a lot of others live here too. I only speak for myself. But this is my opinion. You can say that my opinion is just one opinion and that the majority is with you. It could be like that, but I hope it isn't.
Berni: Please, don't stop, I will be an uninformed idiot
I've been a regular reader since 2017. Not a day passes without me scrolling through the front page six thousand times. It's a kind of habit. Insta, Face, Index. There is no other news site I like to read because they bore me. Here, if I get bored of the news, I am entertained by posts in the "Meanwhile" or the "Today I learned something" sections, the news are not so dry, I even read articles on politics and economy with interest, so please, don't stop, because I will be an uninformed idiot who will not have the faintest idea about what's going on in the world, because I will be lazy to read the boring news that are as dry as the desert, that is for sure. I even supported you from student grants that I ought to have spent on beer, and there are only a few things for which I am willing to make such great sacrifices.
Csaba: As a Wikipedia editor, Index is especially important for me
I've been reading Index ever since I have internet access. It's up-to-date, and I read your articles every day as they do not conceal but divulge the problems of the world and of the country. As a Wikipedia editor, Index is especially important to me as a credible news source. I have cited your articles numerous times, including ones from the archives. The only comparable news source was Metro. I was really sad when it closed.
If you can, hold on, and keep doing what we call Journalism on the same level, or even better. Yes, the capitalisation was intentional. Thank you for the good work you're all doing, and I wish you the strength to keep doing your challenging job.
...: Your Judgement Day cometh
Dear Index, dear staff,
I wish to reflect on your calvary in the past few days with a quote from the Bible, Matthew 7:1-5:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
Your Judgement Day cometh.
Péter: You are the last one
Here is what football looks like in Hungary these days:
There are two teams. Goalposts on one side are closer together, and that team has the referees and a couple of the opponent's players in their pocket, and they have 15 players on the field. Half of the other team play against their teammates, and some have no intention of winning: they are there for the joy of the game. If something goes wrong, the first team tweaks the rules a bit to prevent the other one from scoring, or if they do, they will have it nullified.
A significant part of the Hungarian population have the audacity to call this a fair game, they think it's all fine.
Without you, there is a good chance that in the future, we will only get news from the first team. I no longer live in this utopistic society, but if things keep going this way, I'll stop following Hungarian media altogether. You are the last one. Go, Hungary!
Gábor Miklósi: The night I became a hero even if I didn't
The first, and so far only house party I hosted for the politics desk of Index was in December 2010. There were many people, we drank a lot, we did a lot of things, and a former colleague rang me up if he could join us. Of course, he could, but when he showed up at the door with two other men and two women, I was far beyond the point where I could confidently tell where things are in relation to the already blurry line separating things that are real from things that only exist in my head.
I showed them where to leave their coats, but soon enough, deputy editor-in-chief Zsófi Mészáros told me that she doesn't want to hang out with these guys and she's leaving. I had no idea what her problem was, but I got the impression that there is trouble. I asked her to wait a second, I washed my face, I tried to get a grip on myself - which was quite a feat at the time. Then I walked up to them.
Indeed, upon closer inspection, the two men closely resembled two moderately known politicians, the women I did not know. As I kept looking at them, the resemblance kept getting stronger until I finally expressed my regret over not recognising them right away, and asked them to leave as at that point, I did. It was a party for Index staff, politicians had nothing to do there.
They understood this and did not deny that they are politicians, they went away, and we partied on into the night. Others pat me on the back, Marci Bede even heralded me as a hero in his usual ironic tone; I was not a hero, I didn't even know who these guys were, and when I finally found out, as the host, I was the one who had to send them away.
The reason why I brought this old story up is that Index's role in the public discourse and the way we relate to each other within the staff has a similar necessity that we all learned together. When necessary, we have to go into conflicts to protect our integrity, and we must take every single step in a way that we wouldn't regret later.
Now that Index is in trouble, we all seem a bit like heroes and our standing up could be considered brave, but that is unmerited. This thing can only be done this way, and if it cannot be done this way, I'm not sure that it should be done at all.
Gábor Stöckert: Index means the option to say no
I've been working at Index for 14 years, it's impossible to summarise what it means to me in a couple of paragraphs. I've spent a day thinking about this, looking at the caleidoscope of my memories of Index, where I see flashes of key moments from lifelong friendships, shouting contests at management meetings, and sometimes I see the moment when a hundred meters under the French-German border, I peeked into the Large Hadron Collider where they would eventually discover the Higgs-bozon.
But in the current situation, there is one really important phenomenon I saw in my 14 years here that I wish to highlight, as it has greatly contributed to Index being what it is. That is the power of yeses and nos. The nos we said and the yeses that were said to us. Index was born out of rebellion, and thanks to these roots, content creation never had the strict corporate framework here as it does in other media firms. It soon became an unwritten law that people who make content, those who take the responsibility for them with their names and faces, they get to say no, especially to people who drifted away from content creation or never did that in the first place. People have always tried to influence the content on Index, and not primarily politicians, but advertisers, friends who started working in PR, casual acquaintances trying to push their pet peeves. You have the choice to say no to all of them. Over these 14 years, I said no to the sales department several times, but I had rejected the head of my department, editors, or even the CEO too. Typically, disputes aren't settled with power here, but by involving others. Apart from a few exceptions, this unwritten law has worked well and served to maintain the quality of Index.
The other factor contributing to quality was the vast amount of important yeses. Take the approvals of costly, but high-prestige series, impossible trips, or just out-of-the-box ideas for articles, or the yeses we receive in response to interview requests that couldn't happen if the name of Index went unmentioned. It was one of the best experiences of my life when we followed the last space shuttle voyage (András Pusztay, the recently resigned CEO pushed that one through the sales department), but it was a joy to edit three "Today I Learned Something" books, or to interview Neil Gaiman right after I was hired, not to mention totally idiotic projects such as a lyric generator, a modular Prodigy-review, or the video game where you play as an oligarch and you have to hunt down our pig-eared colleagues.
I am currently on an unpaid vacation abroad, but I had plenty of plans with Index, so I worry from afar. In the current situation, politics - through the influence of certain people, disguised as an economic problem - wants to put an end to how we operate. Those in power no longer want to endure our nos, and they expect us to say yes to all their unacceptable requests that go against press freedom.
We can only have one response: NO.
Edina Juhász: It's no issue if I dare to question things
On my first workday in Index, sometime around 2010, we went to Volt festival. We somehow managed to find a place to stay in the last minute, a sort of mass accommodation, so we kind of lived like a family there. Szabolcs Barakonyi began yelling at Zoli Szabó every morning at around 8 about the tickets so he could put pictures in the articles, and he did not exactly hold back. Laci Valuska kept asking Sixx about what countryside people do when their shoes get muddy, "We urinate in it," he answered stoically, without looking up from his laptop, while somebody was always loudly cussing about their data connection as if that could help anything. After that first day, I knew that belonging here would be a good thing for me. Later on, I discovered that this is how things go around here even on a regular weekday.
And I also soon discovered that working for Index is not something that you could learn in a school. Of course, you learn a lot about the basics of journalism, its principles and values, the responsibility that goes with it, but no amount of schooling can prepare you for what it's like to work in an environment where nobody is ever satisfied with the amount of information they have, and an answer usually leads to even more questions.
The people working for Index make Index what it is.
Around that time I conducted an interview with a musician. I asked something, he gave some answer, and in disbelief, I asked back: "Really?" The whole thing gave him the impression that I did not believe what he was saying, and the situation escalated quickly, the promoter said that I would never get to interview the guy again. I was a bit worried what would the reactions be at Index, how much my editor would flip out. He did flip out, but not over me, he asked why I should believe whatever anybody says, having doubts is my job, and if that embarrasses the other person, there is probably a good reason for that.
That reassured me that it's no issue if I dare to question things and I dare to ask back, then it became clear to me that I had just learned one of the most fundamental principles of Index. And that Index is one of the last places where doubt is valued and not scoffed at. A place where interviewees, companies, businesspeople have to convince a meddling journalist of Index about something, which is no easy task, but that is our essence, that is Index.
If Index is no more, there will be no questions left, only statements, without a follow-up question.
Sixx: Screw it, this is not a farewell
I thought nothing would be simpler than writing about what Index means to me. And there you have it, this is the sixth version already, there will not be a seventh.
Index, it will continue to be.
It will continue to be even after it effectively is not anymore, because somebody said it should not be. This is a country/age/situation where that is a part of normal operation.
It will continue to be, because it will live on in our readers and in us, deep down, inside, right next to our need for freedom and truth.
Of course, it would be better if it actually continued, with its typos, sometimes sloppy language, badly embedded videos, that prompt readers' complaints even at 3:00 AM, as some only get to their daily fix at those times, and there is always somebody who will fix these by 3:30 taking out the typo, inserting the missing html tag, or replacing "trigger" with "firing mechanism."
Because this site is edited by these crazy people who do not look at it like it's a factory where they have been manufacturing (according to independent experts, faulty) medical devices since they were trained at the age of 19, this is something that makes getting up in the morning worth it.
Because it's ours.
The articles of the economy desk uncovering murky business is mine, the photo desk's portrait piece on a woman with the untreatable disease is mine, the video on the running club for disadvantaged children is mine, the review of the latest gadget is mine, the one about how the Democrats in the US are messing up, all of the "Today I Learned Something" pieces, everything that comes out of our culture desk, they are all mine.
Because they are good. Because they are credible.
Because I've been reading this ever since there are things on the Internet to read, and I can count on one hand how many times it disappointed me.
This is the place where I can write about what I love and what I want to write about, where there are no games of interest or great proclamations, no whispers and quiet coughs saying "well, you should not write that one now," there are no articles in the CMS with unknown authors.
If one day it will be no more - because one day it will be no more - we will keep writing it, here, inside.
Zsolt Hanula: Family
Okay, saying that any group, your friends, your colleagues, are like family is such a cliché that it is cringeful even in the latest instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise. Then there is the fact that 99% of families are nothing like the family the metaphor suggests.
But Index really is like that. There are embarrassing second cousins, weird uncles, black sheep, the whole package. If I wanted to be specific, I would say it resembles the Bluth family from Arrested Development - it's wonderfully dysfunctional, there is an amazing variety of abnormal people, but thanks to some miracle, it works as it improvises while flying blind.
It is held together by the fact that we are all there for each other, and that we want to keep this site running even if that is the last thing we do. We do it for ourselves, a little bit, but we also do it for outlets that were already taken over, Origo, TV2, Figyelő, Magyar Nemzet, Népszabadság, the list goes on. But we mostly do it for our readers who have sent hundreds of messages so far, and there is no twisted, pun-infused dark humour that can cover up how uplifting and touching that all is (and also humiliating, as we all need to be much better to deserve it all). This is something that will never be experienced by those who want to destroy Index because they cannot build something like this, no matter how much money they throw at the problem.
János Haász: When your batteries are dead, Index is still there
It has been raining inconsolably, for hours, the sun went down long ago. I parked near the Orfű camping on the shoulders. The kids already got in the car approximately an hour ago in order to avoid soaking to the bone with me while I packed our stuff and got ourselves sorted at the camping. We went to see the Fishing on Orfű festival for the first time in my life, I was even onstage for an interview. Of course, in my Index T-shirt. During this hour, my kids have been listening to music on the car radio. One hour of that is more than enough to kill your battery, especially if it was ripe for a replacement to begin with. I learned that as we were about to leave.
It is raining inconsolably. Traffic is dense on the B-road running by the lake, many are trying to get home in their cars, others are walking towards their accommodations. In my head, I'm doing calculations: when traffic dies down, in a couple of hours maybe, I could push the car to the slope 200 metres away and try a rolling start. As I'm standing next to the car wondering if I will be able to dislodge it from the meter-deep mud, I swear to arrive earlier next year and find a spot in the parking lot.
"You're the Index-dude from the tent!" somebody yelled from a group of four or five people. Such a conversation starter in the Hungarian countryside can lead to a number of different things, however, this voice seemed friendly, as you would expect at such a festival. He recognised me, he recognised the t-shirt, I think. Soon enough, we were struggling with the car together when another driver stopped next to us seeing all the commotion, and he even had a jumper cable. "Index? Of course, I read that!" he addressed my T-shirt, and after some electricity crawled over the cable into my car from his, he bid farewell by advising us to buy a grammar reference book, or at least borrow one.
The moral of the story? Not a lot, but maybe it's that Index is always there, even when your batteries are dead.
Support the independent media!
The English section of Index is financed from donations.