The Media Council
The primary function of the Media Council is to ensure the working of democratic publicity in the media, and to create and maintain a healthy balance between the interests of the audience and those of the media, while also partnering with market players and professional organisations. As far as the media, these interests have to do not only with exercising the freedom of the press but also with turning a profit, whereas on the audience’s side they are related to the provision of appropriate information, protection against infringing content, and the option of choice between various types of content. In all of its functions, the Media Council seeks to cooperate with media watchdogs operating in other countries as well.
It maintains a permanent watch on processes in the media market and, whenever necessary, engages in administrative tasks by which to prevent a market concentration that would violate pertaining legislation. With a view to preserving a plural media market, the Media Council also monitors the lawful operation of Hungarian media service providers, plays a key role in enhancing public trust in child protection, and assesses compliance with programming quota requirements – so as to facilitate the protection and production of cultural value both at a domestic and European level. Furthermore, the Media Council protects the interests of viewers with a hearing impairment based on the principle of equal access, and decides on the allocation of the frequency assets available to radio and television media services in Hungary. The primary criterion in the evaluation of these bids is to preserve media pluralism and diversity.
Thanks to the efficient operation of the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme, one of the film industry’s largest state-run ventures, a large number of valuable films have been, and are being, produced, which contribute to a rich selection of content. The Institute of Media Sciences works as a scientific background institution of the Media Council.
Subject to a two-thirds majority vote of MPs present, the Council’s President and its four Members are elected by the General Assembly for a term of nine years.