Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Népszava in trouble

September 24th, 2011

Népszava claims to be the only national daily that has increased its readership over the past year. It is in dire financial straits, nonetheless, but promises its readers it will survive.

A leading columnist has left Népszava because he was not prepared to continue writing unpaid articles for the left-wing daily. György Bolgár is known to the public mainly as the host of a daily afternoon programme on Klub Radio, but has also contributed a weekly column to Népszava, full of sharp invective towards the right-wing government. Bolgár’s column is now replaced by an article by leading publicist György Sebes, explaining the financial difficulties Népszava is facing.

Sebes claims that Népszava is selling more than last year – a rare exception in today’s media market. But it has been losing advertisers, in Sebes’ opinion, because the government discourages companies from placing ads in the paper.  Advertisements from public institutions and state owned companies have dried up since right wing Fidesz returned to power last year. In an ironic remark possibly addressed to those tycoons who back the Socialist Party, Sebes recalls that while the Socialists were in government, the right-wing media not only survived, but managed to broaden their scope.

A few journalists have left Népszava for financial reasons, Sebes admits, but he assures readers that his paper will not collapse. “We are preparing for our 140th anniversary,” he confirms. (Népszava was founded in 1877, but a labour weekly that Sebes apparently considers its predecessor was published four years earlier.) “This is our message to friend and foe alike.”