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Moves towards a Hungarian language channel in Transylvania

by Áron Balló 24 hour Hungarian-language television is one of the goals of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, RMDSZ. In Romania, there is only sporadic TV programming in Hungarian, the different channels from Hungary cannot be watched everywhere and do not focus on the special problems of

pour EUROLANG le 17/12/03 19:17

by Áron Balló

24 hour Hungarian-language television is one of the goals of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, RMDSZ. In Romania, there is only sporadic TV programming in Hungarian, the different channels from Hungary cannot be watched everywhere and do not focus on the special problems of Romania’s over 1.5 million Hungarian-speakers.

Public television studios in Bucharest, Cluj/Kolozsvár and Timiºoara/Temesvár produce a few hours a week of programming in Hungarian, broadcasting nationally and regionally. Some private channels offer a few more hours local programming in Hungarian as well, but local television is facing growing financial problems and some programmes are being cut.

Duna TV and Channel M2 from Hungarian public television is broadcast via satellite. Broadcasts of other Hungarian TV channels can be seen in western Transylvania and some cable companies include Hungarian channels, but this is far from the ordinary terrestial service required.

The RMDSZ tried to solve the problem by including both the reopening of a public television studio in Târgu Mureº / Marosvásárhely, and the creation of a day long Hungarian-language channel, into the agreement after agreement with the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD).

After three years, the media regulator offered a separate frequency for 24 hour programming in Hungarian covering almost all of Translyvania from the public TV studio at Kolozsvár. But this would need a lot of investment.

There have also been talks between Hungarian Prime Minister Péter Medgyessy and RMDSZ President Béla Markó on whether Hungary will finance the launch of a Hungarian-language Translyvanian channel.

Before December 15th, experts from the Hungarian Government and the RMDSZ are expected to find a proper legal base for setting up a channel to start broadcasting in 2004 or 2005. At the end of November, TV specialists and RMDSZ officials met in Marosvásárhely to help the RMDSZ make a decision. Most experts were for a satellite channel, but views differ on whether it should be a public or commercial station.

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Eurolang? is a specialist niche news agency covering topics related to lesser-used languages, linguistic diversity, stateless nations and national minorities within the European Union. It provides an expanding on-line daily service across Europe, to NGOs, the media, European, State and local government, academia, researchers and the general public. The purpose of Eurolang is to provide, on a daily basis, relevant and current news about Europe's regional, stateless and minority language communities, numbering some 46 million speakers, to the general public and to national and regional media (newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, internet media) in Europe and worldwide.
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