The Publicus Institution conducted a survey on the commission of Vasárnapi Hírek between the 11th and 13th of October, in which they analysed people’s attitude towards the freedom of the press and the suspension of Népszabadság. They asked 1000 people in the representative opinion poll. It turned out that the majority of Hungarians question the freedom of the press in the country.

The majority of respondents believe that the press is not independent from the government in Hungary, while 9 out of 10 people believe that this is an important value. 85% of Hungarians heard about the suspension of Népszabadság, but only 1/3 knew that it is now under the influence of an enterprise close to Fidesz. Almost every second respondent read the printed or online form of Népszabadság more or less frequently.

Most respondents think that the reason behind the suspension is that the newspaper criticised the government and the politicians of the governing party, and that Fidesz limits the Hungarian freedom of the press. 2/3 believes that currently Fidesz has the biggest influence on the operation of the media and almost this many think that the governing party has a great influence on the press as a whole. Almost 2/3 of the pollees believe that the freedom of the press is very limited in Hungary, and that public service media broadcasts one-sidedly.

The majority of the respondents believes that the press is not independent from the government in today’s Hungary. On a scale from 1 to 5, the domestic situation of the freedom of the press got 2.7 points, which belongs to the “not free” category. Mostly MSZP voters find that the press is not free, nor independent: the average of the points they gave was 2.1. On the other hand, only Fidesz voters find the press freer: the average of their points is 3.4.

Meanwhile, 9 of 10 respondents (87%) think that the press should be free and independent from the government. All social classes think the same way about this question.

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85% of Hungarians heard about the suspension of Népszabadság, but only 1/3 knew that it is now under the influence of an enterprise close to Fidesz. Almost every second respondent (43%) read the printed or online form of Népszabadság more or less frequently. The printed version was mostly read by MSZP voters, people over 60, and professional classes. The online version was read by MSZP and Jobbik voters, people under 45, and people with a diploma or high school diploma.

Most respondents think that the reason behind the suspension is that the newspaper criticised the government and the politicians of the governing party (29%), and that Fidesz limits the freedom of the press (23%). 2 out of 10 (22%) listed loss-making as a reason.

However, the latter reasoning was only notable among Fidesz voters (37%), the MSZP, Jobbik and indeterminate voters all believe that the main reason behind the suspension is that the paper had a critical approach towards the government, its party, and its members (53%, 35% and 28%). Except for Fidesz voters, every surveyed social class thinks that the second most important reason behind the suspension is the limitation of the freedom of the press (between 22% and 28%).

2/3 believes that it is currently Fidesz that has the biggest influence on the operation of the media, and only 2% believe that it is the left-wing that has. All surveyed social classes think similarly about this matter. The voters for Jobbik and MSZP find Fidesz’s influence the biggest (77% and 72%), while it is the MSZP and Fidesz voters who find MSZP’s influence the biggest (8% and 5%).

Almost this many (59%) think that the governing party has a greater influence on the press as a whole now than at the time of the MSZP governments (16%). MSZP voters are quite sure about this (75% against 20%), but, surprisingly, Fidesz voters think similarly (46% against 25%).

Almost 2/3 of the respondents (59%) believe that the freedom of the press is very limited in Hungary, and that public service media broadcasts one-sidedly. They think similarly in the case of news resources reaching the most people (58%).

The slight majority of Fidesz voters agree and find that the freedom of the press is very limited in the public service media (45% against 43%), while the overwhelming majority of MSZP, Jobbik and indeterminate voters (70%, 69% and 60%) are on this view, as well.

Copy editor: bm

Source: http://www.publicus.hu/, http://vasarnapihirek.hu/

3 comments
  1. Even though I am an ardent FIDESZ supporter, I believe now is the time for FIDESZ to openly talk out, the truth or not the truth. I don’t believe the accusations towards FIDISZ to be true, so please FIDESZ, put your supporters minds to rest.

  2. The paper in question was losing money, it was giving away presents to people so they would buy the paper. Any one in Hungary is free to start a news paper. The staff of Nep0 Szabadsag is responsible for the paper’s failure, since the product produced was not what the consumer wanted.

  3. For a research center to make any conclusions like this on a sample of only a 1000 people, about decisions made by a ruling political party. Then to say 85% of Hungarians ?!!!!!! Really?!! Where is your sample from again? Which street? Which town? Onhestly, this is the laziest bunch yet to make a claim of an undisclosed, squeek sample… Duh! Why do you think government wants to see a few hundred thousand signatures in a population of several million, not the paid off looney bunch on skid row. Come on guys!! Get your act together and learn how to do a real research sample if research is really your thing or not!

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