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Kristina Cendic
Gergely Gosztonyi


New technologies have opened several risks to safety of journalists. More importantly, in the state of emergency caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, journalists and media actors have shifted their activities online more than ever, which also made them more prone to digital threats and attacks. In some regimes there are even organized intimidation campaigns against political opponents causing chilling effect and self-censorship, and jeopardizing freedom of expression in general. Hungary as a member of the European Union since 2004 and Serbia as a leading candidate to join the EU are two countries where the problems and concerns about media freedom is growing every day. The fear from the unknown during the international pandemic gave opportunity to some governments to hide their real political agendas and cover their desire for the 'good-old-fashioned' censorship. The number of countries where some kind of censorship could be found is growing every day. The authors will show two country-case-studies from Hungary and Serbia, where the leaders and the political situations are very similar and could show a (good or bad) example to other countries that would like to follow the illiberal views on media issues.


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How to Cite
Cendic, K. ., & Gosztonyi, G. . (2020). FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN TIMES OF COVID-19: CHILLING EFFECT IN HUNGARY AND SERBIA. Journal of Liberty and International Affairs, 6, 14-29.
Author Biographies

Kristina Cendic, University of Zenica, Faculty of Law, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dr. Kristina Cendic holds a Ph.D. in Communications from the Facultat de Comunicacio Ramon Llull University, Barcelona. The focus of her research was on defamation cases in the online sphere in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kristina works as an Expert Associate for the Law Faculty, University of Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina and as a Senior Researcher for SHARE Foundation in Serbia. After obtaining her MA in Democracy and Human Rights, Kristina worked for USAID’s Strengthening Independent Media Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina, coordinating the component on media law and policy lead by Annenberg School for Communication, University of Philadelphia. She specializes in freedom of expression online issues, and her lectures and publications refer to: online defamatory statements, dangers to freedom of expression in the digital age in the Western Balkans region, violations of digital rights and freedoms in Serbia, linguistic rights in media of national minorities in Serbia, public service broadcasting in divided societies.


Gergely Gosztonyi, Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Faculty of Law, Hungary

Dr. Gergely Gosztonyiis a Hungarian lawyer and media researcher. Graduated at the Faculty of Law, Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) Budapest, now he is teaching at the same place since that time. He obtained a Ph.D. in Media Law. Among others, one of his research fields is censorship, alternative media and the liability of intermediaries.He studied sociology and political sciences for one year in Finland and media law for a half a year in Denmark. Between 2000-2004 he was the office coordinator of the Hungarian Federation of Free Radios and between 2004-2006 he was the managing director of Civil Radio FM98, a community radio in Budapest. Between 2010-2017 he was the Head of the Rector's Cabinet of Eötvös Loránd University. He is a member of the European Communication Research and Education Association. Since 2015 he is the coach of the Hungarian Team for the yearly Monroe E. Price Media Law Moot Court Competition.