Just get the word out, OK?

In the US, when there are complaints about media bias, they tend to come from conservatives who object to what they see as a liberal slant to the news. Not so in Hungary, however. Or, at least not in Ujpest, a suburb of the capital, Budapest. There, apparently, it's the exact opposite. The town council, which is dominated by Socialists, has suspended the local newspaper and cable TV outlet, which it accuses of spinning the news the opposite way. The move traces back to a feud with Tamás Derce, who offered himself as an independent candidate for mayor and won. He believes in communicating with voters and readily admits to engaging in spin. As his website puts it, "We publish our legislation and ... make you familiar with our announcements." This information also can accessed via the website, but, of course, that doesn't help people who don't have computers. So with them in mind, the mayor says he'll turn to the only other news outlet available to him: town criers. Or kisbíró as they're known in Hungary, where they were still employed as recently as the mid-1930s. What's more, His Honor even vows to outfit them in period costume as they circulate through Ujpest's neighborhoods, bellowing the latest developments at the top of the lungs. They'll remain on the job, he says, until the council reverses its decision.

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