Amazing archaeological discovery to be captured with support from the Media Council

Published: 18 October 2018

At this week’s session, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) decided to provide a grant to cover immediate on-site filming costs in relation to the excavation of a peripheral centre of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, found by Hungarian archaeologists in modern-day Iraq. The Council decided to launch the Neumann János Tender with an allocation of HUF 25 million to support online public-service content within Hungary and in the neighbouring countries this year as well and also endorsed the Authority’s report assessing the social diversity of news programmes. Following the radio-related decisions taken, the local radio tender in Paks will proceed with the rectification of deficiencies, while the media service provider of Rádió 1 in Miskolc received a fine.

The excavation of a Neo-Assyrian settlement will be filmed with support under the Patronage Programme

This week’s decision by the Media Council allocates HUF 1.73 million under the Escher Károly Tender of the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme, supporting the on-site filming of unexpected events of Hungarian relevance, to make a film about the excavation of a Neo-Assyrian settlement discovered by Hungarian archaeologists in Kurdistan. The excavation of the houses, fortified walls, brewery and ceramic vessels found on the Ranya Plain in Iraq has garnered significant international attention; using the footage shot, János Buda intends to make a popular science film about the work of the archaeologists. The successful applicant must commit to submit a valid application based on the raw footage in the next round of the tender process providing grants for the production of documentary and popular science films.

HUF 25 million available for grants for the production of online media content

The Council will launch the Neumann János Tender under the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme to provide non-repayable grants for online shows this year as well. The Media Council allocated HUF 20 million for successful applications from Hungary and another HUF 5 million for successful applications from neighbouring countries. Each successful applicant may receive a grant of up to HUF 1 million. The Tender aims to make new, valuable and original public-service content available in the range offered by online media service providers. The first round of the four-round tender process is open for electronic submissions until 15 November, 12:00 noon. Once again, one of the requirements is that the content must be available on the hosting online platform.

Women’s representation is still very low in news programmes

The Media Council endorsed the Authority’s latest study on the social diversity of news programmes, i.e. the representation of specific social, economic and ethnic groups, for the first half of 2018. The total rate of representation of the groups concerned was 15.3 per cent, a 4 percentage-point increase compared to the previous six-month period. As in previous years, various economic operators appeared the most frequently within the examined categories, representing a total of 38.6 per cent. In the six-month period covered by the study, inactive social groups were featured prominently in the media (27.4 per cent), with a dominant presence by youth and pensioners once again (53.1 and 45.1 per cent, respectively). The representation of civil society organisations grew from 16 per cent in the past to 19.9 per cent and then to 21.8 per cent, with nationwide organisations being predominant (52.8 per cent). Based on the aggregated data for religious organisations, the Catholic Church in Hungary was represented to the greatest extent (49.9 per cent).

Minority actors appeared 2.2 per cent of the time in the programmes under assessment that corresponds to the averages of previous periods, with Hungarians living in neighbouring countries (40.4 per cent) and Roma minorities (33.3 per cent) at the top. Concerning gender representation, the average rate was almost four-fifths in favour of men (78.2 per cent vs. 21.8 per cent) in the six-month period covered. The representation of people with disabilities was very limited for all programme types, 0.2 per cent in total, meaning that this social group still remains practically “invisible” to media consumers. The summary covered the news programmes of M1, Duna TV, TV2, RTL Klub, Hír Tv and Echo Tv, ATV’s programmes “Híradó” (News) and “Egyenes beszéd” (Straight Talk) as well as Kossuth Rádió’s programmes “180 perc” (180 minutes), “Déli Krónika” (Noon Chronicle) and “Esti Krónika” (Evening Chronicle). The full study is available on the NMHH website.

Call for rectification in the radio tender in Paks and another fine for Rádió 1

During the formal examination of the bid received under the tender for the commercial use of the Paks 96.3 MHz local radio frequency, the Council called on the sole bidder, Paks FM Kft., to rectify the deficiencies. Rádió 1 aired fewer public-service programmes, programmes dealing with local community and facilitating local everyday life and less Hungarian music than it committed to in its public contract in the Miskolc coverage area during a programming week reviewed in mid-July and it also failed to air any ethnic or minority programmes; therefore, the Council imposed a fine of HUF 75,000 on the radio’s service provider. When imposing a fine, the Media Council always determines the form and extent of the penalties with due consideration to all the circumstances of the specific case and employing the principle of progressiveness and proportionality.