(This is an excerpt of a longer analysis, available in its entirety on Mérték Média Monitor )

This analysis by Mérték Média Monitor reviews the trends in state advertising spending between 2006-2016 and examines how individual interest groups and groups of owners have claimed this type of public funding during the time investigated. As pointed out by the graphs, state advertising spending in Hungary underwent a striking change especially in the field of political and public affairs dailies.

The share of state advertising received by newspapers affiliated with the left (Népszabadság and Népszava are indicated with red) dropped precipitously after 2010, when Viktor Orbán became Prime Minister.

Following his election, newspapers Magyar Nemzet, owned by Lajos Simicska, and Magyar Hírlap, owned by another oligarch, Gábor Széles, dominated. Both newspapers are known for their right-wing affiliation.

The aftermath of the Simicska scandal in 2015 - which led to the disruption of the previously consolidated alliance between Simicska and Orbán/Fidesz - saw the creation of the pro-government daily Magyar Idők (previously Napi Gazdaság), which was hugely successful in drawing state advertising funds despite the fact that it was nearly completely unknown to wider audiences.

Overall, it is apparent that during the decade analysed there was no major change in the total state advertising spending in the market for political dailies, but there were vast fluctuations. Especially striking is the unprecedented dominance of Magyar Nemzet after 2011, as well as that of the Magyar Idők and Magyar Hírlap, the two pro-government dailies, after 2015.

Mérték Média Monitor regularly publishes the Soft Censorship report, reviewing developments in the media sector of Hungary on a yearly basis.

Tags: Hungary State_advertising Political_pressure