Media Pluralism Monitor 2020 Hungary

Attila Bátorfy, Media Department, ELTE BTK

Preliminary results

12th April 2021


  • 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


  • 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!

MPM2020 - EC Presentation

By Attila Bátorfy

MPM2020 - EC Presentation

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