Debate on Hungary in the European Parliament

Hungarian press coverage between 2017.04.26. és 2017.04.28.

Mérték Media Monitor invited Publicus Institute to conduct a qualitative analysis on how the European Parliament’s debate on Hungary has been reported on by the most read, most watched and most important Hungarian news media.

We monitored 718 articles in total produced by four online and three printed media platforms, which includes both pro-government and critical press. With regard to online news portals, we monitored the public affairs sections of origo.hu, index.hu, 444.hu and 888.hu. As regards printed media, we monitored the public affairs sections of dailies Lokál and Ripost, as well as the national and international news sections of regional newspapers in the possession of Mediaworks. From the above mentioned media, we considered index.hu and 444.hu as critical, while the rest is unquestionably pro-government.

Broadcast media are represented in our research by the early-evening news programmes of the public media channel M1 and two commercial channels (RTL Klub and TV2), as well as the public media radio channel MR1’s Déli Krónika. RTL Klub is the only channel that can be considered critical from the above; at the same time, it also has the largest audience.

Despite the fact that the debate concerned primarily the “Lex CEU”, the NGO legislation then already submitted to the Hungarian Parliament and over the national consultation, all of which were strongly criticized by the Commission and all mainstream political parties in the EP, Hungarian media talked about migration as the point of criticism against Hungary.

Government media framed the debate as Viktor Orbán’s personal struggle against migrant quotas. Even independent media do not bother to distinguish between refugees and illegal immigration as a result of long-lasting government propaganda, but it might be a surprise that the real issues present at the debate were not fully represented on those supposedly critical platforms either.

Full analysis: Debate on Hungary in the European Parliament

 

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