Grace Levy

The Disintegration of Independent Media in Hungary

Since 2010, the independence of the Hungarian media has faced some serious, and discouraging setbacks. Although freedom of the press is protected under the Hungarian Constitution, the media has become increasingly controlled under new legislations, intended to stifle government critics, and also the introduction of a ‘state advertising tax’. The authoritative bodies that monitor these new media laws are explicitly linked to the current political party in power, the Fidesz party, and prime minister Viktor Orban, meaning that the media realm is becoming increasingly influenced by political actors, which has eliminated the ability for independent and investigative journalism to survive. The state advertising tax has effectively pushed out all foreign media companies, leaving these major companies to be bought up by Hungarian, Fidesz-aligned buyers. This paper will explain the methods which Fidesz has used to gain control over the media in such a short period of time, and then extent to which the Fidesz party has been able to use their tight grip on the media to promote their own political agenda, and as an example, in the case of the Hungarian referendum on the EU migrant quota. This paper ends with the question: What are the implications of this on the Hungarian election coming up in 2018?  This paper is supplemented by interviews which I conducted in Budapest in December, 2016, with journalists, media monitoring NGOs, and migration organizations, in order to get a strong understanding of the situation.

My name is Grace Levy, and I am a 2 nd year Master’s Student at the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs (UofT). I am from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and did my undergrad in Russian Studies at Dalhousie University. My current area of focus is the history and politics of Russia, and also the countries of the former Soviet Union. I recently completed an internship at the Centre for Independent Journalism in Budapest, Hungary, and since then I have become extremely interested in media issues and media integrity in Hungary, Russia, and the rest of Eastern Europe.

Priyanka Patel

A Vision of Solidarity Between Indigenous People and People of Colour Towards Dismantling Settler Colonialism and White Supremacy

Originally a teach-in developed by four women in Saskatchewan, Idle No More represented an effort to educate both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Canada about the unjust impact of the federal government’s proposed Bill c-45. Over time, the movement’s radically decentralized character permitted a number of distinct communities to join together for diverse, yet intersecting, purposes. As grass-roots movements against the ongoing violence perpetuated against Indigenous peoples, cultures, and lands, Idle No More and similar social movements represent a unique opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to conjointly develop resolutions for living together peacefully. This call for non-Indigenous peoples to actively engage in the struggles of Indigenous peoples signifies the importance of conducting solidarity work in the process of decolonization. Accordingly, the contention of this paper is that people of colour must demonstrate an active interest in engaging in Indigenous struggles. Despite the direct implication of white settlers in the ongoing perpetuation of settler colonialism, people of colour are not innocent of the continuous erasure of Indigenous peoples. It is argued that the divisions among people from marginalized communities created by intersecting forces of oppression, such as white supremacy, may only be circumvented when members of these communities assume responsibility for uniting across their differences. For this reason, despite their own potential experiences of marginalization within Canada, people of colour must actively engage in solidarity with Indigenous peoples in order to dismantle the systems of settler colonialism and white supremacy that differentially impact their communities.

Priyanka Patel is a graduate student at the University of Toronto. While completing her Bachelor of Honours (Arts) at Queen’s University with a major in Sociology and a minor in Gender Studies, her research interests were drawn to the administration of justice by the law enforcement, court, and penal systems of North America, as well as the experiences of members of marginalized communities within these systems. Her current research project explores the barriers to police mobilization faced by Canadian women of colour who suffer from intimate partner violence, as well as the implications of these barriers for the effective implementation of domestic violence-related policy and legislation. Her research interests also include critical race studies, gender studies, the imprisonment of women, theories of crime and deviance, and systems of law and social control in regulating criminal behaviour.