EU institutions are partly to blame for the rise of media capture in many countries in Central Europe, our Senior Program Manager Marius Dragomir said to Euractiv.
The article summarizes the media situation in Serbia, where Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban’s childhood friend-turned billionaire Lorinc Meszaros is reportedly one of the bidders for TV broadcast licenses. His involvement may be an example of the extension of media capture.
Hungary is a textbook case of media capture, Marius Dragomir said, adding that the model has been already exported to some countries, although the motivation for this varies. He pointed out that media capture started over a decade ago, and although activists and experts have been sounding the alarm bells, “the EU argued that no instrument could be used to remedy the situation, as media regulation was the responsibility of individual countries.”
That is why it is very important, he said, that EU institutions are now “waking up” and working on effective instruments. These instruments should be linked to EU funds, as “many of these countries rely on EU funds for everything, essentially, even for media capture,” he argued.
The article also cites a study published by the International Press Institute in collaboration with our Center for Media, Data and Society and edited by our Communications and Outreach Officer, Robert Nemeth, mapping the role of Hungarian capital in foreign media.
Read the full article in English here or in German here.