European media watchdog urges Hungary to rethink ad tax, says it may hurt media pluralism

A European media watchdog says Hungary should reconsider its new tax on media advertising revenue because it could have damaging consequences on media diversity and was adopted without consultations.

Dunja Mijatovic, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's representative for press freedom, said in a statement Friday that the tax, which was approved by lawmakers this week, "could negatively affect media pluralism and it may harm media freedom in Hungary."

Mijatovic also said the law, which has been widely opposed in Hungary even by media that support the government, should be reviewed by parliament and involve "all stakeholders" in the debate.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Friday the aim of the new tax was to target "extra profits" in the media sector.