Archive item

Title: Fidesz and the media: just another brick in the wall
Other/original title:
Publisher: Policy Solutions
Files: Hungarian Politics In-Depth - Fidesz and the media just another brick in the wall.pdf
Abstract: "The new media supervision law is stricter than the previous legislation, but by no means marks the end of the freedom of the press," argues the Hungarian research institute Policy Solutions in this analysis from November 2010, shortly after the Press Freedom Act (or "media constitution") was adopted. The governing Fidesz party prefers to increase its power by "placing party loyalists in various independent positions," the organisation argues, though the analysis also describes the restructuring of the media regulatory bodies as a sign of "Fidesz’ desire to completely remodel the state’s institutional structure". The old media law and regulatory body were not loved either, the institute recalls, and failed notably to secure the independence of the public media, but "based on the composition of the oversight bodies and the roster of persons now selected to lead the public media, this problem is likely to worsen". On the bright side, the most controversial proposal was eventually dropped, namely a right-of-reply regulation that "would have forced the media to publish corrections not only for errors of facts, but also of opinions". Among the remaining problematic regulatory issues, "two stand out," according to this analysis: the requirement that journalists might be compelled to reveal their sources and the requirement that media provide "credible, accurate, quick and balanced" information. The analysis devotes a separate section to the public service media, noting that "Fidesz wields a majority in all media supervision bodies," people from "loyal conservative media outlets" have been selected to lead the public TV and radio stations, and "the political cleansing that has already begun .. reinforces the notion that Fidesz might use the public media as additional propaganda instruments (as they functioned when Fidesz was last in power)".
Publication/ adoption date: 2010-11-29
Language: English
Rights: Policy Solutions. Permission for reproducing the document granted by email.