Using such a diverse set of mechanisms to restrict, isolate, purify, and intimidate critical selling points is an effective and difficult way to track the exercise of state power. Even if the sender was able to assemble a defense, how would you defend yourself against the many different forms of attack? This strategy also provides a degree of bureaucratic secrecy that can mask these attacks under the alleged legitimacy, formality, and reliability, while keeping them out of public view.

It is not limited to Klubrádió. Financial strangulation, unclear ownership structures, manipulation of access to licenses and technology for broadcasting are approaches that have been implemented against the media in Hungary. Perhaps the most famous example of this is Kisma.

KESMA has an effect

KESMA, or Central European Foundation for Press and Media, is a non-profit organization founded in September 2018. Task, KESMA aims to “contribute to shaping Hungarian public discourse on the basis of national values ​​and shaping the next generation in our society”. Two years after its creation, it is over 470 Media It came under the control of an institution dominated by the curators of the supporters of Fides, including the attorney Dr. Istvan Bajcay, who was previously the personal attorney of Orban and Zoltan Hegedus, and a former candidate for mayor of Fidesz by Hódmezővásárhely. KESMA has a huge impact on the media landscape. According to the analysis commissioned by The Greens group in the European Parliament Led by Mertek Media Monitor, out of the 246.5 billion Hungarian guilders the state released in 2017 in the media, KESMA accounted for 24% of this money. Combined with other private media related to government and public funding, this concentration rises to 77.8%. This effect goes beyond just controlling media production. to me The Atlantic Who gave an interview to Attila Papus and Erwin Jeth D. Free pics“Private companies are reluctant to advertise in stores other than Kisma for fear of government reprisal,” he added.

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While the presence and consolidation of the media in KESMA ensures their continued existence, Ágnes Urbán told Quentin Ariz of The Atlantic, “Most KESMA organizations would not be financially sustainable without state announcements” – their pressure to control independent channels or criticism and uncertainty of the media community. In July 2020, Index.hu and most journalists resigned in protest at the resignation of its editor-in-chief, Zapolux Dole, after a controversial business plan leaked that showed drastic changes to the editorial team.

Fidesz and the Hungarian government are hiding behind a shortage of dead or imprisoned journalists, a testament to the country’s strong media freedom environment. This only happens if these are the only diagnostic tools we use. Manipulation of property, state appropriation of previously independent regulatory agencies and channels, revenue from government advertising, and licensing are methods by which the media environment can be tarnished in the government’s favor and will not stop in Hungary. This model is already being exported to Central Europe, and especially to Poland, as part of the re-polarization campaign of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS). The components of the model are already being replicated in Slovenia under the leadership of Prime Minister Janez Jansha.