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Debate over the political role of the media

April 5th, 2018

A pro-government commentator speculates that in case of a Fidesz defeat in the election, the opposition would eliminate all critical media outlets. A conservative critic of the government thinks that Fidesz overestimates the importance of the media.

In Magyar Hírlap, István Lovas wonders how the unlikely victory of the opposition parties in the Sunday election would impact the media landscape in Hungary. The pro-government pundit speculates that if – against the predictions of all public opinion polls – the opposition do defeat the governing party, they would completely transform the media landscape and erase all critical media outlets. In Lovas’s view, the Hungarian media is currently diverse, and there are several radio, television and online platforms that openly support the opposition parties. Lovas fears that in the event of their victory, a coalition government of left-wing parties and Jobbik would become subservient to foreign interests, which already dominate Fidesz-critical commercial media outlets.

Magyar Nemzet’s Miklós Ugró thinks that politicians overestimate the role of the media in the election. The conservative critic of the government recalls that after the unexpected left-wing victory in the 2002 election, many politicians and intellectuals on the Right blamed the first Orbán government’s defeat on left-leaning media bias. Ugró dismisses that opinion as highly exaggerated. He finds it sad that due to their fear of media misrepresentation, government politicians avoid the public, and do not even bother to answer media inquiries or give interviews.

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