Archive item

Title: Hungary’s new media regulation
Other/original title:
Publisher: Free Speech Debate
Files: Hungary’s new media regulation _ Free Speech Debate.pdf
Abstract: In this opinion on the FreeSpeechDebate website, Peter Bajomi-Lazar, a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford, describes and evaluates the media laws passed in 2010 by the Hungarian parliament. The new laws, "passed without consultation with either the opposition parties or professional bodies," established a Media Council, whose members were all nominated by the ruling Fidesz party and whose chair was directly appointed by the prime minister, writes Bajomi-Lazar. The new media authority "supervises all private media, including the print press, radio and television, and the internet, [and] has the power to allocate broadcasting frequencies, to impose fines, and to distribute funding," he adds. The laws also created a Public Service Foundation to manage all public media, whose chair is delegated by the Media Council, and "all public broadcasters’ news bulletins are now produced by the national news agency, and display a pro-government bias". In Bajomi-Lazar's assessment, "free media still exist in Hungary," since "newspapers and websites critical of the government can be accessed freely", but "the mainstream of the media are under government control". Television, in particular, is either apolitical or politically biased, and "the ideological hegemony that the Hungarian government aims to create may establish a spiral" of self-censorship.
Publication/ adoption date: 2012-03-30
Language: English
Rights: Published on Free Speech Debate (, under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike licence: