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 […]

Bankruptcy of Neo FM

On June 18, FM1 Zrt, the company that operates Neo FM, filed for bankruptcy protection. Two days later, the Media Council, exercising its right under the Media Act, canceled the station’s media service contract. Most of the media provider’s current debt of HUF 800 million comes from unpaid media service fees owed to the Media […]

Misappropriation. Fee reduction of the National Radio carefully walked around the economic environment of the national commercial radio stations. One of them is alive and well, the other one only exists by the mercy of the Media Council. The majority owner of one of them is Zsolt Nyerges, the other one was supported by the Socialists, while they had capacity for […]

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 […]

TV2 and RTL Klub: Higher Connections

The public at large, and even many in the profession, remain in the dark as to why July 9th, 2012, could become a milestone date in the history of Hungarian television. RTL Klub and TV2, the two nationwide commercial stations that started out in 1997, were originally licensed for terrestrial analog broadcasting for ten years. […]