Our partner in Hungary, Centre for Independent Journalism, held a workshop in Hungary for 20 journalists. The workshop was titled "Deception, misinformation and the impact – use of journalistic language” and focussed on the topic of manipulative language. Specifically, the workshop covered the Hungarian media and political landscape, which is heavily influenced by emotive and manipulative language. It has come to a point where now even the independent press is taking over the language used by Orbán and his government.
Sometimes online hate speech hits the comment sections rather unexpectedly, but most of the time it follows an established pattern. One example is news articles about the Arab-Israeli conflict that usually lead to a wave of antisemitism. It does not even need to be coverage of the actual military conflict. Even Israeli culture and music can serve as a canvas for bigotry, as an example from May revealed yet again. The mere fact that Israeli singer Netta won the Eurovision song contest was reason enough for antisemitic comments. Israel and Israelis serve as a new projection screen for well-established antisemitic narratives and ideology, including ideas about a world conspiracy. It is these double standards that turn the Jewish state Israel…
The French conservative magazine Valeurs Actuelles published a series of articles focused on George Soros, where he is described as “the billionaire conspiring against France”. In the 16-page long piece, published on 10 May 2018, three journalists link George Soros to the financing of a number of illegal activities, including “supporting terrorism” and “world disorder”.
The prominence given to immigration in domestic Hungarian politics since 2015 has surprised migration experts. It took a particularly distinct form in the period leading up to the general election in April 2018, when migration was placed centre-stage, albeit presented in a distorted, negative way, in the government-controlled media such as the Hungarian news website Origo (origo.hu). We never thought that we would witness such a clear example of moral panic.
The past few days have seen the media reporting heavily on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, with a focus on antisemitism. This was triggered by a Facebook comment posted a few years ago by Corbyn underneath an image of an antisemitic wall mural, in which he questioned its removal.