Europe

Hungary profile - Media

  • 10 August 2016
  • From the section Europe
Newsstand in Hungary Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Since 2010, Hungary's ruling party has tightened its control over the media

Since it returned to power with a sweeping two-thirds majority in 2010, Hungary's conservative Fidesz party has sought to tighten its control over the media, drawing criticism from advocates of media freedom and plurality.

Under a controversial media law introduced in 2011, a Media Council tasked with enforcing the new media legislation was created. Appointments to the Media Council are made by the Fidesz-dominated parliament.

Critics say that this new regulatory body has weakened the ability of state-financed media to act as an institution independent of the government, and has made it more difficult for journalists working in both public and private media to hold the government to account.

A new umbrella organisation for Hungarian public service media, the MTVA, was also set up in 2011. The MTVA is closely linked to the Media Council, as is the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH), established in 2010.

Since its re-election in 2014, Fidesz has also sought to extend its power over the private media sector, with wealthy Fidesz supporters either taking over existing media outlets or setting up new ones.

There were 7.5 million internet users by November 2015 (Internetworldstats.com).

Media bodies

  • MTVA - public service media umbrella organisation
  • Media Council
  • NMHH - National Media and Infocommunications Authority

The press

Television

  • Magyar Televizio (MTV) - public, operates six channels (M1, M2, M3, M4, Duna and Duna World)
  • RTL Klub - private, terrestrial
  • TV2 - private, terrestrial
  • Hir TV (News TV) - private news channel
  • Echo TV - private right-wing news channel
  • ATV - private, left-leaning, owned by the evangelical-pentecostal Faith Church

Radio

News agencies/internet