What makes news? — The prospects of being informed

“RTL 2 is airing real news!” — exclaimed a Standards staff member, providing a vivid illustration of the state of public affairs reporting in Hungary today. News on television is either irrelevant to public affairs or, when it is not, it is little more than sheer government propaganda. If a commercial station wants to buck […]

Selective publicity

“The content presented on the awarded frequency may contain traces of the original commitments.” — (anonymous document inspector)   Studying recent decisions of the media authority, I became curious to find out what motivates the Media Council in shaping the radio market. As a starting point, I looked at the information posted on the authority’s […]

A map of community media

In its resource guide entitled What is community radio?, the AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters) defines community radio as “having three aspects: non-profit making, community ownership and control, community participation.” Writing in May about the contradictions of the tender announced for small community radio stations, we promised to devote a future blog entry […]

Beware of the Hand that Feeds

“You are not going to bite the hand that feeds you” — this is the quotation that, by way of a motto,  introduces a 2008 report by the Open Society Institute on the forms of soft censorship in Latin America. I was reminded of this very instructive report as I was reading an article in […]

Press Freedom Index 2012

A series of surveys by Mertek Media Monitor analyzing the state of the freedom of the press in Hungary. We performed surveys in several fields within the complex topic of the freedom of the press, including the impact of the recent media regulation, political and economic pressure on the media, and self-censorship. Due to the […]

Public affairs in the media – Impact of the media policy

The research project aims at bringing empirical methods to examine how a variety of media outlets with the largest audiences have presented public affairs content in two specific periods during the second Gyurcsány cabinet and the second Orbán cabinet. To accomplish this goal, we have chosen to follow the guidance of Mertek Media Monitor in […]

Content regulation in the practice of the Media Council

Critical accounts of Hungary’s new media regulations have typically centered on reservations and concerns over content-related stipulations in terms of scope of application, semantic ambiguity, and possible sanctions. In this study, we propose to examine whether the Media Council has succeeded to fill the new provisions with predictable substance, and the ways in which it […]

Selling Népszabadság

With a daily circulation of 62,000 and a daily readership of 220,000 (2011 Q4 data), Népszabadság is Hungary’s largest daily devoted to politics and public affairs. Népszabadság Zrt., the publisher, is a company in which Ringier is the majority owner and the Free Press Foundation, controlled by the Hungarian Socialist Party, has a 27 percent […]