Decisions on ‘balanced’ reporting: the Media Council upholds a majority of far-right Jobbik party’s complaints
According to information posted on its website, the Media Council has considered 27 complaints of unbalanced reporting to date, more than half of which were brought by Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party. The Media Council has upheld 13 of Jobbik’s 16 complaints against broadcasters for not including the party’s perspectives or comments in their coverage of certain events. The Media Council has dismissed all complaints of unbalanced coverage brought by other groups or individuals, including all four complaints brought against broadcasters for alleged anti-Roma coverage, and complaints brought against Hungary’s public broadcaster for airbrushing out the face of a Constitutional Court judge in a newscast.
Mérték conducts a two-part analysis of the Media Council’s practices with regard to tendering and licensing. In the first report, Mérték examines the tender competitions of the 35 local radio frequencies that had been initiated by the former media authority, the National Radio and Television Commission (ORTT) but completed by the Media Council. The organization found that three providers–Mária Radio, Lánchíd Radio, and Európa Radio–won 15 of these frequencies. Lánchíd Radio is the property of Infocenter Zrt, which is owned by Fidesz-lined businessmen Zsolt Nyerges, who also owns national weekly Heti Válasz and the national commercial radio station, Class FM. The organization also found that soon after awarding local licenses to Lánchíd Radio, the Media Council amended the terms of the license to expand the broadcast coverage for each of the frequencies. This has enabled the station to build a regional presence, although the original terms of its licenses were for local coverage. Continue reading ‘Mérték Media Monitor: Assessment of Media Council’s tendering and licensing practices’ ››
Mérték Media Monitor surveys the state of media freedom in Hungary. The organization conducted field surveys of opinions of press freedom, including the impact of the recent media regulations, political and economic pressure on the media, and self-censorship. To capture the diversity of these themes, Mérték posed questions to a variety of target groups including journalists, media managers, and the general public. In addition to questionnaires, the organization conducted a series of deep interviews as well.