The Freedom Lecture: Veronika Munk

programme editor
Sophie Rutenfrans
The 31th Freedom Lecture will be given by one of the leading figures in Hungary’s continuing struggle for freedom of press. After being deputy-in-chief at where she has worked for 18 years, Veronika Munk (1979) and her colleagues founded

Newsplatform was long considered to be one of the last remaining independent media outlets in Hungary. On July 24 2020, however, its editiorial staff collectively resigned out of mistrust for their new owner and after their Editor-in-Chief was fired. The walk-out, as well as the mass protests it inspired, illustrate the dire state in which Hungarian media find themselves.

During this evening, Veronika Munk will share her personal experiences with Hungary’s hostile media environment. What lessons does she take away from her experience at And how does she reflect upon the future of Hungary’s media and democracy? What role does she see for the new news outlet she and her colleagues initiated,, and how will this platform shield itself from government interference? She will engage in conversation about the future of journalism in the European Union with John Morijn and Pieter Klok. Yoeri Albrecht will be leading this conversation.

Kyrian Esser will recite poems of Vörösmarty Mihály and Radnóti Miklós this evening.

Veronika Munk is the former deputy-in-chief of and one of the founders and co-Editor-in-Chief of, a new independent news platform which aims to provide fair and unbiased news coverage. Altough it is a new outlet, it has already 6-700.000 readers a day.

The Freedom Lecture

Freedom is something that we in the Netherlands often take for granted. Four times a year, De Balie invites someone who knows from personal experience what it means not to be free. We want to share their stories, spread their message, and learn from their struggle. In the series, De Balie has welcomed freedom fighter like Egyptian writer and activist Nawal el Saadawi, Ugandan LGBT activist Frank Mugisha, Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats, internet activist Esra’a Al Shafei from Bahrain and Patrisse Cullors & Janaya Khan from the Black Lives Matter-movement.

The Freedom Lecture is made possible by Stichting Democratie en Media en vfonds.

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Veronika Munk Former deputy-in-chief of newssite Index and founder of
Pieter KlokEditor-in-Chief of De Volkskrant
John Morijn Chair in law and politics in international relations // Assistant professor of European human rights law
Emilie van OuterenCorrespondent Central-Europe & Balkan at NRC
Yoeri AlbrechtModerator and director of De Balie
Kyrian EsserActor


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