Even though Hungarian public media often gets criticized for being pro-government, especially when Western media outlets try to explain the result of the Hungarian parliamentary elections, they will have to tighten their belts next year. At Monday’s meeting of parliament’s budget committee, the president of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority presented the main figures of the authority’s budget for 2023, including the budget of the public media. It showed that the budget next year will be several billion less than this year.
As reported in an article in Világgazdaság, a Hungarian economic site, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority’s unified budget rests on four pillars: the Authority, the Media Council, the appropriations managed by the Council, and the largest item, the Media Services Support and Trust Fund (MTVA).
András Koltay, President of the Authority, said that the biggest item of the four pillars is the autonomous budget of MTVA, which is planned for HUF 126.6 billion (EUR 305 million) – HUF 3.5 billion (EUR 8.5 million) less than this year.
At the committee meeting, members of the opposition parties asked the president about the broadcasting of public media, who said that they act as an authority for content only after publication, and that those who have problems with editorial practices can use the tools provided by the law. Koltay added that
the requirement of balanced information has been part of the Hungarian legal system since 1996, so although content can of course be interpreted in different ways, there is no question of subjectivity in the official procedure, not least because of the many authoritative decisions of the authorities and courts in this area in the past two decades.”
The President of the Authority also pointed out that the number of complaints on balance has been decreasing in recent years, compared with the early 2010s, for example. This may be linked to the fact that the importance of television and radio news programs has declined somewhat with the growth of online communication.
Following the debate, the budget committee voted 11 in favor to 5 against to submit the single budget proposal for 2023 to parliament.
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