A major step towards an authoritarian media regime in Hungary

The publisher Mediaworks has suspended the publication of Népszabadság, Hungary’s leading opposition newspaper and highest circulation broadsheet. Though the measure was officially referred to as a suspension, in reality it probably implies that Népszabadság has been shut down for good. It has been rumoured for a long time now that a key friend of the prime minister, […]

Soft Censorship Hungary 2015

Introduction – Crony capitalism and the media market The methods and trends of the state’s interventions in media policy and the media system after 2010 were both a reflection of and a blueprint for the general workings of the government. When the Media Act was adopted, it provided one of the early glimpses into what […]

New Reports Detail Lack of Progress in Fight Against Soft Censorship

New Reports Detail Lack of Progress in Fight Against Soft Censorship Soft censorship continues to be a major threat to press freedom and the governments of Hungary, Mexico and Serbia appear unwilling to follow recommendations that would guarantee a non-discriminatory allocation of public funds and government advertising across the media. This is the common conclusion […]

The darkest corners of state media funding

Published in Hungarian on 14th October 2015 Author: Ágnes Urbán  The MTVA continues to be the dark horse in the Hungarian media system. There is ever more money flowing into the state media, while the latter is making a mockery of its intended function, i.e. public service. Based on documents obtained by Mérték it appears […]

Exemplary behaviour

Published in Hungarian on 1st July 2015 Author: Krisztina Nagy  The media authority’s content control activities focus on monitoring to verify compliance with quantifiable and formal requirements which are irrelevant in terms of media policy objectives. Viewed through the lens of official decisions, the media operate in an exemplary manner. We cannot discern any media […]

As you like it – Frequency tenders in 2014

Published in Hungarian on 5th June 2015 Author: Krisztina Nagy As a result of the great wave of frequency tenders conducted in the previous years, the Hungarian radio map had changed substantially by 2014. As the process decelerated, the past year saw significantly fewer tenders. Since immensely complex and unrealistic formal requirements often made it […]

Press Freedom: Not a matter of legal interpretation

Published in Hungarian on 14th May 2015 By: Gábor Polyák According to Freedom House, the state of press freedom in Hungary has deteriorated further in 2014. We agree. By Gábor Polyák András Koltay, a member of the Media Council and spiritual father of the controversial Hungarian media laws, went on the MTVA-financed blog Médiahorizont to complain […]

Will MTI also feature the term “Gypsy crime”?

Published in Hungarian on 9th March 2015 Author: Attila Mong   MTI pretends that there are professional arguments that justify its use of the term “economic immigration” (technically, a more accurate but unwieldy translation of the Hungarian phrase “megélhetési bevándorlás” would be “immigration to make a better living”, but it better captures the negative connotation of […]

50 Shades of Media Violence

Published in Hungarian on 25th February 2015 Author: Attila Mong The pronouncements of government politicians on the work of journalists are disconcertingly unisonous: media BDSM going from verbal violence over intimidation all the way to harassment by the authorities. By Attila Mong.  “You were maltreated by the police? Oh, do you now how often I’ve […]

What follows the comradely, friendly atmosphere?

Published in Hungarian on 20th January 2015 Author:  Attila Mong The coming round of changes at the public service media institutions, along with major adjustments in the distribution of state advertising, will result in major transformations in the media market. Official support for a journalistic self-understanding that had prevailed for several decades will now come […]