By the early 1980s, it became evident that the press had gained some freedom – though ‘some freedom’ is not real freedom. The Hungarian Socialist Workers Party still exerted pressure on the media until the end of the decade, but the attitude was more relaxed and the media became more diverse. There were attempts to propagate official policies that were based on apparent lies, but the media in general were less ready to accept these fabrications. Some topics were rigorously banned, others less so, but journalists working in the state media did not need to adhere to orders any more, and the policy of editorial offices became diverse. The general public appreciated efforts to convey the truth. By contrast, after Fidesz came into power in 2010, a new semi-authoritarian regime began to take shape, and a whole new generation of journalists working for the pro-government press is now trained to create upfront deception – and there is nothing to support the view that they would try to change this situation. Tiny scraps of remaining freedom may explain this, because those who are not willing to comply and do not care much about financial gains still have a chance to find a job in the few remaining independent media outlets.
Médiakutató Autumn-Winter 2021 pp. 107-114