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Magyar Nemzet urges stronger reaction against anti-Semitism

An article in pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet condemned conservative politicians for not reacting more vehemently against an anti-Semitic speech by a Jobbik MP calling for a list of of Hungarian citizens of  Jewish origin—especially of those who sit in Parliament—because they pose a threat to national security.

More layoffs planned for public media

The Media Services and Asset Management Fund (MTVA), the body that manages Hungary’s public media, announced that more layoffs will take place in the first week of December.

Blogger cleared in porn photo montage of Media Authority chief

Prosecutors have chosen not to pursue a case against a blogger who published phony pictures of Media Authority President Annamária Szalai’s face pasted onto pornographic images, according to reports. The Media Authority asked the public prosecutor to bring criminal charges against the blogger on grounds the images misused Szalai’s sensitive personal data. The prosecutor this week determined […]

MTVA refuses to reveal new funding needs

The Media Services and Asset Management Fund (MTVA), the body that manages Hungary’s public media, refused to tell members of Parliament why the amount it would borrow from a consortium of banks was increased from HUF 40 billion to HUF 63 billion, according to reports.

Court: MTVA must disclose spending on cancelled TV series

A Metropolitan Court in Budapest ordered the Media Services and Asset Management Fund (MTVA) to disclose how much it paid for the failed TV series “Marslakók” (“Martians”) after the watchdog group Atlatszo.hu brought the case to court on the basis of the freedom-of-information law.

Haraszti sees threats from ‘three-layered’ media system

Hungary has developed a “three-layered” media system in which the news is provided by three main sources: state-influenced TV and radio stations, a disappearing print sector, and freely distributed online media, human rights activist and former dissident Miklós Haraszti said at the opening of a conference on the Hungarian media on November 15.

Political weekly says public media should reveal finances

Left-leaning political weekly 168 Óra has criticized the MTVA, the body that manages Hungary’s public media, for refusing to make its finances and spending publicly available, despite the outlet’s requests for the information. The MTVA, which received a budget of HUF 77 billion (EUR 261 million), in 2012 said that most of the information is available on their website, and […]

Opposition pans Media Council’s 2011 report

Media Council member Tamás Kollar reportedly drew criticism from opposition MPs when he presented the Council’s annual report to Parliament on November 13. According to Mediajogfigyelő, Kollar’s presentation focused on statistics and numbers but did not cover the controversial new media law or its consequences. Socialist Party MP László Mandur criticized the report for providing […]

Media execs oppose censoring hate speech

Laws designed to control hate speech in the press can constrain freedom of the press, according to news directors and managers of major media who gathered to discuss the issue in a meeting of the Media Research Institute, the research arm of the Media Authority.

Media Authority awards IMG HUF 1.5 billion contract for public media

Budapest-based Inter Media Group Ltd. (IMG) media agency won a HUF 1.5 billion (EUR 5 million) tender to handle media buying for the Media Services and Asset Management Fund (MTVA), the body that manages Hungary’s public media, according to an announcement in early November. IMG is majority owned by Péter Patonai, who was appointed as CEO of the Hungarian […]

Neo FM goes off the air

Neo FM, one of Hungary’s two national commercial radio stations, ceased broadcasting November 10 after losing a court battle with Hungary’s Media Council over an unpaid broadcasting fee. Neo is closely linked to Hungary’s Socialist Party. The station’s closure leaves only one national commercial radio in operation in Hungary, Class FM, a station a majority […]

Despite heavy layoffs, public TV hires reporters from pro-government TV station

Hungary’s public media management company, the Media Services and Asset Management Fund (MTVA), stirred controversy in early November over reports it had hired reporters from conservative station Echo TV despite ongoing plans to downsize. Echo TV is owned by top Fidesz donor Gábor Széles, who also owns the national pro-government daily newspaper, Magyar Hírlap.  In response, the MTVA […]

Consortium of banks to finance purchase, upgrade of public media headquarters

The fund that manages Hungary’s public media has taken a loan of HUF63 billion (210 million) to purchase and upgrade its headquarters and production base on Kunigunda útja, in Budapest’s Óbuda. A consortium made up of four banks will finance the loan. According to a statement from the Media Services and Asset Management Fund (MTVA), […]

Media Council rejects court ruling on Klubrádió

In a statement posted on its blog, the Media Council says it is unwilling to execute a court decision ordering the body to accept Klubrádió’s tender for a radio frequency. According the Media Council, Klubrádió’s application contained unsigned blank pages, which legally allows the Media Council to disqualify the broadcaster from the tender competition. In […]

Unions protest mass layoffs at public media

Public media union representatives have sent a letter to Hungary’s Media Authority in protest of the planned layoffs by the public media holding company, the Media Services and Asset Management Fund (MTVA). The letter was signed by seven leaders of various unions representing public service media workers and sent to Annamária Szalai, the Chairperson of […]