Ahead of parliamentary elections in Hungary, a group of volunteers are printing and distributing their own newsletter aimed at countering what they say is a government stranglehold on media in rural areas.
These newsletters are the latest edition of Nyomtass Te Is! (You Should Print, Too!), a compilation of news stories selected and printed by Hungarian activists that is then delivered to rural homes across the country.
NTI is distributed to rural households by more than 1,300 volunteers who hope to highlight news they say is not covered by media aligned with the government of Viktor Orban. Parliamentary elections that will decide Orban's future are due to be held in Hungary on April 3.
Organizers of the newsletter liken it to the "samizdat" (self-publishing) of forbidden works of literature and art that was widespread on the Soviet Union's dissident scene. They say the Orban government has made such publications necessary due to a stranglehold over Hungarian media.
A government minister told Reuters that international left-wing movements had been trying to discredit Hungary over its media landscape for years and said, "The reality is that the diversity and balanced nature of Hungarian media is a bright spot compared to what we can see in Western Europe."
Peter Nogradi told Reuters that the leaflets contain news that "does not appear in the mass media."
"You can only read it on the Internet but not on all websites," he added. Many Hungarians in rural areas get their news from television and radio.
Nogradi, a retired software developer, says some people collect the leaflets, while others immediately dump them in the trash.
The February 1 edition of the newsletter leads with a story about corruption, a teachers' strike for higher pay, and an opposition party planning to cut taxes on some foods, if elected.