Number of Government-Critical Media Outlets Rises Since 2010

According to the Nézőpont Institute’s 2024 analysis on the freedom of the press in Hungary, since 2010, the number of media outlets critical of the government has significantly increased.

In 2010, there were 36 such outlets, rising to 61 by 2024. The sustainability of these critical media offices is highlighted by the launch of 34 new platforms over a decade. The analysis challenges criticisms of press freedom in Hungary, asserting that both critical and pro-government media are widely accessible and utilized by the public for information.

The study reveals that a majority of Hungary’s adult population, 71%, relies on government-critical sources, while 64% also use pro-government media.

The accessibility of media is emphasized, with broad distribution of print and electronic formats across the country, aided by high levels of broadband and mobile access.

Financially, prominent government-critical media companies have seen doubled revenues over eight years, with profitable operations generating approximately HUF 4B (EUR 10.1M) in after-tax profit in 2023. Notably, foreign sources, including governments like the United States and international organizations such as the EU, contribute significant funding to critical media, though exact figures are not publicly detailed.

Concerns are raised about foreign funding potentially influencing national security and public opinion during wartime.

The analysis also examines the independence of Hungary’s media authority, noting its structural autonomy compared to other EU nations. Despite claims of punitive actions against pro-government media, the authority reportedly sanctions them more frequently than government-critical outlets.

Overall, while the report highlights growth in media critical of the Hungarian government since 2010, it also underscores debates over foreign funding’s implications and the regulatory environment’s impact on media independence and freedom in Hungary.

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Via MTI; Featured Image: Pixabay

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