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Telex.hu attracts a €200,000 donation from a Czech media company

Economia, one of the largest Czech publishing companies, announced this week it would be donating 200,000 euros to newcomer independent Hungarian outlet Telex.hu. 

Telex was started by former employees of Index.hu, formerly Hungary’s largest independent online newspaper, which collapsed this summer.

Telex.hu announced its pre-launch in early September, starting a crowdfunding campaign aimed to help get the outlet off the ground. While the timing of Telex’s full launch has not been announced, more than 32,000 people have already donated. The outlet will be led by Veronika Munk, a former deputy editor-in-chief at Index.  

Telex is composed of journalists who used to work for Index.hu, which for years was Hungary’s biggest independent online news outlet. 

In July, the new owner of Index fired the outlet’s editor-in-chief Szabolcs Dull, in what analysts have widely viewed as an attempt to censor the newspaper’s independent coverage of the Hungarian government. Most journalists quit Index in protest.

In a statement quoted by Reuters, Economia praised “Telex’s commitment to delivering outstanding journalism, particularly at a time when it is most needed”, citing it as the motivation for making the donation.

Telex.hu clarified that Economia’s support is not an investment, and the Czech company will not get a stake in Telex for its donation.

Economia is one of the biggest Czech media groups. It controls several news outlets, including daily newspaper Hospodářské noviny, as well as magazines Respekt, Ekonom, and Obchodní věstník. It is owned by Zdenek Bakala, who is among the ten wealthiest persons in Czechia.

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