The transformation of the radio market in Budapest

The Media Council’s transformation of the system of radio frequency tendering is in itself understandable as an administrative reform, yet of all the decisions made by the Media Council to date none has made waves as big as this one has. The story has in effect vested Klubradio as an admittedly dissenting voice with symbolic […]

Summary of the Case of Klub Radio

The tendering practices of the Media Council lend powerful support to the two salient principles of the Fidesz Party’s media policy: that the masses should not be able to access information on public affairs unless it is funneled from controlled sources (note that the readers of the political dailies and even online public-affairs consumers do […]

Secrets and Lies: The Contracts of National Media Providers

The Media Council and media providers winning a bid enter into a so-called official administrative contract which provides for a significant part of the terms and conditions under which the provider will operate. The contract reveals how much the provider is to pay the media authority, sets forth commitments regarding programming structure and content, stipulates […]

The Responsibility of Public Service

The new media regulations have transformed the legal framework of public program provision in all important aspects, including organization, financing, and supervision. One of the cardinal flaws of the new law is its omission to expressly provide for a public service mandate. Apart from a handful of declarations, the Code of Public Service, finalized in […]

Forced Maneuver: Proposals and Expectations toward the Amendment of the Media Act

The bill amending the Media Act is expected to be submitted in the weeks ahead. The Constitutional Court gave legislators until May 31st to remedy the omissions it had ruled unconstitutional. The legislative liabilities ensuing from the Constitutional Court Resolution — a ruling that the Constitutional Court ultimately declined to interpret despite repeated requests by […]

The Media Act – One Year Later

It was exactly one year ago that the Hungarian Parliament accepted the country’s new Media Act which raised so much controversy. Around and after this time, legal and professional organizations and NGOs from Hungary and other countries, including the European Parliament, the OSCE Commissioner for the Freedom of the Press (Organization for Security and Co-operation […]

What is the problem with the media laws?

Systemic politicization of the media system: The most dangerous trend seen in the Hungarian media over the last few years has been the increase in media service providers openly affiliated with political parties. This politicization at an organizational level presents special risks because it extends to entertainment media directed at mass audiences. On the one […]