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Marius Dragomir on the Possible Takeover of Hungary’s Last Free Media

In a double interview, Marius Dragomir, Director of CEU Democracy Institute’s Center for Media, Data and Society, and Gabor Polyak, leader of Mertek Media Monitor, talked to Euractiv about the situation of media in Hungary.

Dragomir discussed the problem of media capture, of Hungarian public media being fully controlled by the government and private media being subject to a campaign of systematic takeovers by oligarchs. In his view, the Hungarian situation is one of the most concerning media situations in Europe.

Both experts agreed that with the elections coming up next year, the last of independent media in Hungary might face moves to be taken over.

Asked about how Hungary influences other countries in the region, Dragomir said the Hungarian model was being recreated elsewhere. But beyond that, Hungarian oligarchs have also started to buy media outlets in North Macedonia, Slovenia, and Romania.

“The Hungarian media need an intervention from Brussels, and not only for Hungary but many European countries that have been experiencing worsening conditions. A strong intervention by the European Union is needed,” Dragomir concluded.

Read the full interview here.

The interview was also summarized by the largest independent Hungarian news portal, 24.hu. Read it here (in Hungarian).

Photo: Diego Figone / International Journalism Festival
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