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Czech tycoon pledges 200,000€ donation to independent Hungarian media

Budapest, Hungary – Economia, one of the largest Czech media conglomerates owned by tycoon Zdenek Bakala, has pledged the hefty donation of 200,000€ to, a new independent Hungarian news site.

“Telex’s commitment to delivering outstanding journalism, particularly at a time when it is most needed, resonated strongly with us”, chairwoman of Economia’s board Zuzana Reznickova declared in a statement.

“In a spirit of solidarity, the board and owner of the media house have decided to support the Telex project with a donation in the amount of 200,000€ to the early costs of launching the medium”, she added.

With highly popular titles such as business daily Hospodarske Noviny and weekly magazine Respekt, Economia is one of the most important media groups in the Czech Republic. Its owner, businessman and investor Zdenek Bakala, counts among the biggest fortunes in the country, according to U.S. magazine Forbes’ annual ranking of the world’s wealthiest people. was founded a few weeks ago by former journalists who resigned en masse this summer after its editor-in-chief was fired and amid fears of a political takeover of one of the last remaining independent media in Hungary.

The government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has long been accused of curtailing press freedom and muzzling dissident voices throughout his decade-long rule, has denied the accusations and dismissed claims it was trying to shut down the news site, one of the most popular in Hungary until its demise.

To kick-start its operations, launched a crowdfunding campaign in early September, already gathering contributions from more than 32,000 people. In line with its desire to remain independent from external investors, Telex’s managing director Marton Karpati assured that Economia would not receive a stake in the new media in exchange for its sizable donation.

To know more about Telex’s project and vision, you can read our interview with its founder and editor-in-chief Veronika Munk.

Coordinated by Ábel Bede, Kafkadesk's Budapest office is made up of a growing team of freelance journalists, editors and fact-checkers passionate about Hungarian affairs and dedicated to bringing you all the latest news, events and insights from Hungary.