Interestingly, the latest program of Al Jazeera’s Listening Post was concerned with Hungary – according to index.hu. In fact, they broadcast today Guardian correspondent Daniel Nolan’s report on the Hungarian propaganda media. Al Jazeera concludes that PM Orbán wants all the Hungarian media. The program can be watched HERE, the second part concerning the Hungarian media starts from 13:43.
“It is full-time government propaganda”
“If the polls are to be believed, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban could win his third consecutive election this April. Should that happen, the media there will have played a large part.” – starts the program. This is because the “Orbán-government has devoted considerable energy and resources to
restructuring the domestic media landscape in its favour.”
Al Jazeera clears that most of the Hungarian media is already in the hands of businessmen close to the PM. For example, we wrote HERE about Lőrinc Mészáros, favourite entrepreneur of PM Orbán. In fact, his enrichment is quicker than Facebook-owner Zuckerberg’s, and he already owns all the regional newspapers together with a dozen of radio broadcasters and television channels. Furthermore, his portfolio extends every day.
Al Jazeera reports about the government’s anti-immigration and anti-Soros campaign, as well. According to media researcher Ágnes Urbán, the
pro-government state media only repeats the main messages of the ruling party.
Dániel Rényi, a journalist of 444.hu, added that the government has totally conquered “public media.” According to atlatszo.hu, since 2010 Orbán’s allies have bought 11 radio stations, 20 television channels and close to 500 print and online organisations. “However, state media remains a powerful megaphone” – according to Al Jazeera. The content creation is centralised – he added.
State media employee: the editor-in-chief is like a dictator
Al Jazeera managed to speak with two state media employees. They described “a lack of editorial independence and a climate of fear.” Thus, the TV-channel had to disguise their faces and their voices. One of them told that nobody could write anything bad about the government.
“If something is politically sensitive I get instructions.
In some cases, I have the whole ready-made article, so I do not have to do anything just copy and paste” – he added. The other employee of the state media stated that “the editor-in-chief is genuinely like a dictator.” For example, he calmly says that you cannot put something in the news because it is against Viktor Orbán. This is how the state media turns against everybody who is against the government or its agenda: opposition parties, EU, refugees or George Soros.
An employee even showed a document sent to him by mistake which was written by the content making department of the Prime Minister’s Office. In the document
they made it crystal clear how media should communicate
about a presumed anti-government protest organised by Soros-institutions. The state media labels everything Soros, migrant or left-liberal. For example, they consistently use Soros-university instead of Central European University or Soros-organization instead of, e.g. Transparency International.
Al Jazeera tried to ask about these claims Zoltán Kovács, the government’s international spokesperson. He turned their interview request down by a text message. He texted to the reporter that
“the government has nothing to do with the media.”
Al Jazeera: Orbán wants it all
However, Dan Nolan tried to ask him about the regular weekly press conference of the government. However, Zoltán Kovács did not let him ask his questions.
Al Jazeera highlights that because of the tightly controlled state media and private outlets owned by government-friendly tycoons most of the country’s media is on the same page when it comes to some of the most important issues. “Evidence of that can be found on the
eerily similar government talking points that keep appearing almost word-for-word.”
Al Jazeera quotes PM Orbán who said that the majority sovereign country’s media should be in national hands. They add that most of the Hungarian media is already in the hands of Hungarians. However,
PM Orbán wants it all.
Source: index.hu, Aljazeera.com, Daily News Hungary