Parties started campaigning with a one-month delay

Published: 11 May 2018

The depiction of groups in news programs with highlighted importance in the diversity of society has increased, according to the National Media and Infocommunications Authority’s (NMHH) investigation, whilst a study revealed that the advertisements of Demokratikus Koalíció were aired the most often on television and radio stations. The Media Council of the NMHH provides a grant of HUF 200 thousand to the AMIK short film festival as well as fining the media service provider of three television channels due to scheduling discrepancies.

Social diversity in news programs

The board has approved the latest official study on the social diversity of news programs. According to the summary on the second half of 2017, the aggregate ratio of the appearance (19.3%) of examined groups – such as national minorities, non-governmental organizations, groups inactive on the labor market or Hungarians living beyond the borders of Hungary – increased by nearly two percent in the examined news programs compared to the previous six months. Within the examined categories – as customary – the various economic operators appeared the most frequently, representing a total of 41.4 percent. Significant media exposure has been provided to inactive groups (29.4%) and within the group, for the first time since the measurements, students and pensioners were represented to an equal extent (49.3% and 49.0%). Although within the minorities, there has been a significant increase in the depiction of refugees and migrants in 2015 and 2016, this tendency was reshaped according to previous tendencies in the first half of 2017, whilst in the second half, the two most frequently represented groups were those of the Roma (40.9%) and Hungarians living beyond the borders of Hungary (38%). Within the category of non-governmental agencies, the national agencies continued to receive the greatest exposure, which was still lower than before (55.3%). Whilst in the non-governmental sector, commercial news programs still provided exceptionally high (21.1%) exposure to local non-governmental organizations, public service news programs provided a higher than average exposure to churches and the Hungarian institutions of foreign non-governmental agencies.

The summary covered the news programs of M1, Duna Tv, TV2, RTL Klub, Hír Tv and Echo Tv as well as ATV’s Híradó and Egyenes beszéd programs, as well as Kossuth Rádió’s programs 180 perc (180 minutes), Déli Krónika (Noon Chronicle) and Esti Krónika (Evening Chronicle). The full study is available on the NMHH website.

Election advertisements review

The council also adopted the study on the examination of political advertisements aired on radio and television stations in relation to the national elections of 2018. During the campaign period, the national public service media service provider is obliged to air political advertisements, whilst commercial media service providers are not obliged to, yet may choose to do so. Accordingly, this year, apart from Duna Television and Kossuth Rádió, ATV and RTL KLUB also published election advertisements. Of the twenty-three nominating organizations with national lists taking part in the elections, six choose to forgo the option of advertisements, thus, the following organizations took part in the television and radio campaigns: Demokratikus Koalíció (DK), Együtt – A Korszakváltók Pártja, Fidesz-Magyar Polgári Szövetség – Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt (Fidesz-KDMP), Iránytű Párt, Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom, Kell az Összefogás Párt (KÖSSZ), Lehet Más a Politika (LMP), Magyar Igazság és Élet Pártja (MIÉP), Magyar Kétfarkú Kutya Párt, Magyar Munkáspárt, Magyar Szocialista Párt – Párbeszéd Magyarországért Párt (MSZP-Párbeszéd), Magyarországi Cigánypárt (MCP), Momentum Mozgalom, Összefogás Párt. Of the thirteen national minority self-governments, only Magyarországi Németek Országos Önkormányzata (National Self-Government of Germans in Hungary) published advertisements.

Although the campaign period began on 17 February, the first election advertisements only appeared on 21 March. The first spot was an advertisement for Momentum. In the campaign period a total of 895 advertisements – 655 on television, 240 on radio – were aired: the most on Duna Televízió (265), followed by Kossuth Rádió (240), RTL Klub (209), and ATV (181). The parties published radio and television spots of various length, with a total of 55 different advertisements, from which the television spot of DK “Újra megcsináljuk!” (“We’ll do it again!”) (90 occasions) and the radio spot of KÖSSZ “Kell az Összefogás Párt! Válassz!” (“We need Cooperation Party! Choose!”) (30 occasions) were aired the most frequently.

As far as the frequency of television and radio advertisements are concerned, DK proved to be the most active as two of the party’s advertisements were published on 119 occasions, the second was LMP with three different advertisements aired on 88 occasions, followed by Jobbik and Együtt with 77 and 74 advertisements, respectively. MSZP-Párbeszéd comes fifth with 71 appearances whilst Fidesz-KDMP was the sixth most frequently displayed organization tied with KÖSSZ with 70 advertisements. The full study is available on the NMHH website.

Fines due to scheduling discrepancies

The council fined three radio media service providers for HUF 40 thousand each subsequent to official inspections carried out in the beginning of the year. The Győr Plusz Rádió community radio aired less public service content and fewer programs on the local community life which facilitate day-to-day activities than stated in their public contract and prescribed by the Media Act. The commercial radio stations of Helikon Rádió in Nagykanizsa and Zalaegerszeg aired less spoken word content, Hungarian music and public service, news programs and programs on local community life which facilitate day-to-day activities, whilst the programs aired on the Nagykanizsa station featured too many reruns.

Film festival grant

The Media Council offered a HUF 100 thousand prize each for the winner of the live action and animation short film categories of the AMIK – A Mi Kultúránk (Our Culture) short film festival. The event hosted from 14 to 18 May at the Budapest Cultural Centre will feature works which focus on the formulation of culture and the relationship of the youth to culture.

Radio-related decisions

In the national commercial radio tendering procedure, the board performed the content-based examination of HOLD Kft. – which remained the sole bidder subsequent to the formal examination – based upon which it requested additional information from the bidder. The board also performed the content-based examination of the Velence Meleg-hegy 90.4 MHz tendering procedure as a result of which it requested additional information from B & T Kft.

At the request of Helikon Rádió Kft, the Media Council has again temporarily extended the public contract of the media service provider for the local frequencies of Keszthely 99.4 MHz (Helikon Rádió) and Nagykanizsa 95.6 MHz (Helikon Rádió Kanizsa) for another 60 days, until 14 July, due to the fact that the tendering procedures for the frequencies in question have yet to be concluded.