Campaign: Uneven media playing field tilts to the right

The 15 of February 2014 marked the official launch of the election campaign. In seeking to assess how often government and opposition politicians appear, respectively, in the media, as well as the nature of public affairs contents in general, we relied once again on research jointly performed by Mérték and Ténytár. During the first three […]

Dignity for all – Here are the main exclusionists

Our view is that something we might refer to as a culture of exclusionary speech is increasingly gaining ground in Hungary. Politicians and public intellectuals who question the equality of certain groups in society experience growing levels of social support. Our goal is to stand up against exclusion, which is why during the campaign period […]

Press Freedom Index 2013

Through our research we sought to attain a comprehensive picture of how and whether the press in Hungary is free and how the Hungarian media work. Though the questions we asked journalists and media managers were of a professional nature, the general public was asked to respond to questions that did not require any specialised […]

Capturing Them Softly – Soft Censorship and State Capture in the Hungarian Media

The Soft Censorship Global Review is an international research project managed by the WAN-IFRA and the Open Society Foundations. Based on a common methodology, the research analyses the effects of the state as a whole (legal environment, content regulation, market regulation, state advertising, state subsidies) on the production of quality content. It provides the basis […]

Censorship without censors: captured media

Mertek Media Monitor has noted repeatedly that Hungary’s media market can be aptly characterised with the concept of state capture, which was coined by Transparency International. The Hungarian press – and primarily the online magazine Kreatív Online – has repeatedly dealt with the issue of state advertising, and we at Mertek have also pointed out […]

The one-dollar case

On 21 November 2013 Hungary’s high court, the Curia, heard the case of József Spirk, a journalist working at the newsportal The case dealt with an allegedly libellous statement by Spirk in an article entitled “Investigation of EMFESZ’ [formerly one of the major Hungarian gas suppliers] sale for a dollar”, of which Spirk was […]

Censorship without censors: captives of the public media

The domestic public media may be the most fitting terrain for demonstrating that no official censorship rules or censors reviewing each line intended for publication must be in place for censorship and general restrictions on the way the press operates. Thus when in the framework of an international research project Mertek was called upon to show […]

Political business in the commercial television market

In December 2013, just before Christmas, an official announcement confirmed what had been previously rumoured for months. The German television channel ProSiebenSat1 sold its Hungarian subsidiary, the MTM-SBS Ltd., which owns TV2, Hungary’s second largest commercial television channel. The transaction is mired in a number of odd circumstances, however. By Ágnes Urbán. It is unusual […]

Fidesz coming to a radio statio near you

How and why did the public service stations Kossuth Rádió and Dankó Rádió get hold of the frequency previously used by Neo FM? How did the redrawing of Hungary’s radio frequency map affect the already troubled radio market and the diversity of media services? That’s what we set to find out. By Gábor Polyák. In […]