Europe

Media advocate: Hungary paper closure blow to press freedoms

  • RE-SENDING AS A ROTATED VERSION - A newsstand including Saturday papers with Nepszabadsag daily is pictured in Budapest, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Headline of Nepszabadsag reads: "Orban not bothered by helicoptering". It refers to a scandal uncovered by Nepszabadsag about the extravagant travel habits of a top minister in the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. (AP Photo/Andras Nagy)

    RE-SENDING AS A ROTATED VERSION - A newsstand including Saturday papers with Nepszabadsag daily is pictured in Budapest, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Headline of Nepszabadsag reads: "Orban not bothered by helicoptering". It refers to a scandal uncovered by Nepszabadsag about the extravagant travel habits of a top minister in the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. (AP Photo/Andras Nagy)  (The Associated Press)

  • Philosopher, Gaspar Miklos Tamas, speaks during a sympathy demonstration organised to express solidarity with Hungarian political daily Nepszabadsag in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Earlier in the day the publishing company Mediaworks suspended the publication of both the print and online editions of the paper until it comes up with a new business model. (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP)

    Philosopher, Gaspar Miklos Tamas, speaks during a sympathy demonstration organised to express solidarity with Hungarian political daily Nepszabadsag in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Earlier in the day the publishing company Mediaworks suspended the publication of both the print and online editions of the paper until it comes up with a new business model. (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Demonstrators gather in front of  the Parliament building to show their solidarity with the Hungarian political daily Nepszabadsag in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Earlier the day the publishing company Mediaworks suspended the publication of both the print and online editions of the paper until it comes up with a new business model. The placard reads: "Nepszabadsag, People's Republic". (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP)

    Demonstrators gather in front of the Parliament building to show their solidarity with the Hungarian political daily Nepszabadsag in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Earlier the day the publishing company Mediaworks suspended the publication of both the print and online editions of the paper until it comes up with a new business model. The placard reads: "Nepszabadsag, People's Republic". (Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A European advocate for media says that the closure of Hungary's main opposition newspaper is a "huge blow" to the country's media diversity and press freedoms.

Dunja Mijatovic, media freedom representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said Sunday that it's "hard to believe" that the apparent end of the Nepszabadsag daily newspaper was solely a business decision.

He says that the deterioration in Hungary of media diversity was a bad example for countries hoping to join the European Union.

Mijatovic also told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Vienna that the European Commission "should pay greater attention to the issues related to press freedom in Hungary."

Mediaworks, the publisher of the left-wing Nepszabadsag, said it suspended further editions from Saturday because of "considerable losses."