AFP selected to train Hungarian journalists on fact-checking

Currently, Hungary has no known organization in the field of fighting disinformation.

A Hungarian national flag flutters outside the Hungarian parliament building at a pro-Orban rally during Hungary's National Day celebrations, which also commemorates the 1848 Hungarian Revolution against the Habsburg monarchy, in Budapest, Hungary, March 15, 2018.  (photo credit: REUTERS)
A Hungarian national flag flutters outside the Hungarian parliament building at a pro-Orban rally during Hungary's National Day celebrations, which also commemorates the 1848 Hungarian Revolution against the Habsburg monarchy, in Budapest, Hungary, March 15, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Global news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) has been picked by the European Commission to help combat propaganda and misinformation in Hungary as part of a 15-month-long pilot program to train journalists beginning November 1, the agency announced.  

“This project, co-funded by the European Commission, constitutes a new recognition of AFP’s qualities in the area of digital verification in the world globally," said AFP global news director Phil Chetwynd.  "We are proud to be participating in this innovative initiative to help fight against disinformation in Europe, a major challenge for our democracies." 

Currently, Hungary has no known organization in the field of fighting disinformation. 

Earlier this year, an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) antisemitism report noted what it called the Hungarian government's campaign to “demonize George Soros,” a liberal Jewish billionaire who was born in Hungary and is funding causes that run contrary to the policies of the right-wing prime minister, Viktor Orban.

Hungarian Parliament in Budapest MICHAEL STARRHungarian Parliament in Budapest MICHAEL STARR

The project will collaborate with the country's award-winning independent news site 444.hu, as well as the Media Universalis Foundation — a Hungarian university foundation linked to the Budapest-based Lorand Eotvos University.