Media Pluralism Monitor 2020 Hungary

Attila Bátorfy, Media Department, ELTE BTK

Preliminary results

12th April 2021

Areas

  • Fundamental protection

  • Media pluralism

  • Political independence

  • Social inclusiveness

Key findings

  • Adequate regulatory framework, but poorly implemented and arbitrarily applied
     

  • Difficult to obtain public information: state bodies rarely comply with their obligations laid down in the laws, and the judiciary system is not able to enforce them to do so
     

  • Low journalistic standards, weak and fragmented professional organizations
     

  • The Media Act 2010 can't prevent the governmental control over the Media Authority
     

  • The regulatory framework can't prevent soft-censorship, chilling mechanisms

Key findings

  • The ownership on paper is transparent, but many of the owners, even independents have business links to the government
     

  • The media ownership regulation alone can't prevent information monopoly/dominance in news media (KESMA)
     

  • State advertising/funding is the main income for most of the pro-government news outlets, but some independent outlets are also controlled through state funds
     

  • Commercial advertising also can be hijacked by the government

Key findings

  • Most of the initiatives to elevate media literacy and representation come from the civil sector with limited reach and financial support

    The number of cases of harmful speech are growing

Conclusions

  • On the basis of laws the media situation in Hungary can't be understood, and will be extremely difficult to deal with
     

  • The European-level investigations by the EC on state advertising and KESMA got stuck during the procedure
     

  • The erosion of the Hungarian media landscape can't be stopped by legal instruments. The Hungarian government has unlimited financial sources to support pro-government media, and commercial marketers simply can't balance it.

Thank you!

batorfy.attila@btk.elte.hu

MPM2020 - EC Presentation

By Attila Bátorfy

MPM2020 - EC Presentation

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