Risking everything to make it to Europe, thousands of terrified men, women and children have been arriving in Hungary after making a perilous journey across the Mediterranean.
Story after story of terrorists, or that the refugees are sick and spread disease and so on spread across Hungary. Because of all the fuss that the media campaign generated, the government did not organise any real preparations for the [refugee] wave. So while the media continues to pound the anti-refugee campaign, in the real world, nothing was done to try and handle the wave of refugees.
Seeking nothing but shelter from fighting, a vast number of them have been sent to camps surrounded by chain link fencing, barbed wire and patrolled with police dogs.
For journalists covering the crisis, the harrowing pictures of refugees being held in squalid campgrounds, reminiscent to Nazi concentration camps, has been dominating newspaper headlines.
Sparking debate over the Hungarian government's treatment of the refugees, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has lashed out at criticism against his rule.
According to a leaked memo, Hungary's State TV was told by a government-appointed media authority to not broadcast images of children.
An official reason given was to 'protect the children' but when the memo became public it was seen as a governmental effort to limit sympathy for the refugees.
And as we all saw with the photo of three-year-old boy Alan Kurdi, a single image really does have the power to change discourse, coverage and even policy.
Discussing the media coverage of the refugee crisis are: Dan Nolan, a Budapest-based journalist; Tamas Bodoky, editor-in-chief of the online newspaper atlatszo.hu; Peter Bouckaert, the emergency director at Human Rights Watch; and Sue Clayton, a professor of Film and Television at Goldsmiths University, London.
Source: Al Jazeera