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.
Years ago, Origo used to be the leading news site in Hungary. In February 2016, Origo was acquired by investors with ties to the government, and since then, the once high-quality news portal has increasingly turned into a pro-government propaganda outlet. As a result, Origo now publishes articles spreading hatred against migrants in many ways and many forms. On 13 March 2018, the front page of Origo used the word 'migrant' 12 times, always in negative contexts, such as violence, terrorism, war, and threat.
How does the way we frame news intersect with the world of politics? To learn more, we talked to the team behind Talk Decoded, a blog about the power of language in politics: expert in media, politics, and communication Anna Szilagyi and cartoonist Joy Lau.
Standing up against antisemitism in Europe has never been an easy task. In the age when a number of tectonic changes are shaking the nature of public communication, when people get the news from their social feed engineered by Facebook, and in the age when facts do not work – as PR strategists behind Trump and Brexit campaigns claim – monitoring media discourse seems likely to get limited results. “Not at all”, says Giulia Dessi, the coordinator of “Get the Trolls Out”. This project uncovered examples and provides insights into the use of antisemitic rhetoric that not fully reveal patterns, trends and resonance in society, but are sufficient to take action against antisemitic talk.