Hungary has dismissed Western critics of a new media law and insisted that it remains committed to press freedom. The law, which came into force with the start of the year, created a new authority with powers to monitor and impose fines on the media. Some European politicians and newspapers have expressed concern that the regulator will lack independence. But Hungary, which has just assumed the EU presidency, says the concerns are unfounded. Under the new law Hungary's media authority, the NMHH, oversees all public news production and has the power to fine broadcasters and newspapers for violating "public interest, public morals or order".