International Communications Forum in Hungary

Earlier this year, a session of the International Communications Forum was held in Dobogoko, Hungary—the third such forum in a former Communist country. Delegates tackled an ever-present dilemma of the news media—how to balance freedom with responsibility. This, they recognized, is a dilemma that is just as relevant to the Western media, which have operated in democratic societies for generations, as it is to the media in the emerging democracies of Eastern and Central Europe.

Journalists from Albania, Canada, France, Lithuania, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, and the United States joined with their Hungarian counterparts in a weekend of dialogue at the Manreza Centre in Dobogoko, high in the hills overlooking the Danube Valley.

Robert Kernohan, British broadcaster and former London editor of the Glasgow Herald (now, The Herald), spoke of the need for humility and caution on the part of the Western media. "Those of you in Eastern Europe," he said, "know better than we do the experience of centralized control of the media and its attempts to influence behavior and the limitations of such attempts on telling people what to do and what to think."

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December 9, 1996

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