Hungarian American Coalition Members Participate in Budapest Media Conference

Washington, DC – The office of Hungarians Abroad organized a two-day conference in Budapest on April 12-13, 2000, entitled “Hungarians in the Media – Hungarian Media Strategy.” Eighty Hungarians from all over the world were invited to participate in the event, which is part of the larger “Hungary 2000” annual conference series.

Three Hungarian American Coalition members gave presentations to conference participants. Coalition Chairman, Edith Lauer, gave an overview of ways to inform and promote Hungarian issues to American decisionmakers and to the “attentive public.” Hungarian Human Rights Foundation President, Laszlo Hamos, reported on the growing role and significance of the Internet as a source of information and very effective tool of communication on Hungarian topics. Coalition Treasurer, Zsolt Szekeres, focused on the importance of making available DUNA TV programs through satellite to North America, and discussed the expected cost and implementation of this project.

Conference participants included Hungarian-language public television and radio operators from all over the Carpathian Basin, and from as far away as Australia. Cleveland-based National Broadcasting Network was represented by its President, Miklos Kossanyi. The conference paid special attention to small, local radio and television programs, and the positive community-building effect they produce in their Hungarian localities.

Hungarian government officials and media experts discussed media strategy both in Hungary and in neighboring countries where large ethnic Hungarian communities have a great need but often very limited resources to support Hungarian-language media. The question of how Hungarians are portrayed and perceived by media all over the world was discussed at length, including recommendations on how to improve both the portrayal and the perception.

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