Appetite for media ownership

Businessmen with close ties to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s party, Fidesz, not only managed to acquire new media outlets in 2017 but also to replace foreign media companies that had invested in Hungary’s media. Their biggest success was getting control of the last three regional daily newspapers in the summer.Nevertheless, the Hungarian media landscape is still varied, as online outlets do not hesitate to publish investigative coverage of alleged corruption involving top Fidesz and government officials. Two media bubbles co-exist in Hungary. One, created by pro-government and pro-Fidesz media outlets, is obsessed with migration, the “defence of Hungary and its borders” and its hate campaign against the Hungarian-American billionaire philanthropist George Soros. The other is focused on finding corruption scandals. Up till the general elections in April 2018, Hungarians still had access to one newspaper critical of the government, Magyar Nemzet. But even this last shelter is now gone: the newspaper’s owner, Lajos Simicska, once one of Viktor Orban’s main sponsors but now among his pledged enemies, decided to close the paper immediately after Fidesz’s landslide victory in this year’s elections to the Hungarian parliament. The government and its business allies now have their sights turned on two media outlets in particular, the leading commercial TV channel RTL Klub and the leading political news website Both are critical of the government.

in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index



71 in 2017

Global score


29.01 in 2017

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2019
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