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News consumption in Hungary - statistics & facts

Media and press consumption habits have shifted from print towards online news portals and social media platforms, as they became the primary source of information for Hungarians by 2019. At the same time, a considerable share of the population watched television to keep up with the news. RTL Klub channel was the most popular and most trusted offline news source in 2020, watched by 60 percent of Hungarians every week.

Press freedom and the COVID-19 outbreak

Following the introduction of the state of emergency due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in March 2020, press freedom and the independence of news media became the focus of discussions about Hungary’s media landscape. The pandemic cast doubt on freedom of the press , as the emergency state implemented a ban on spreading misinformation, the latter punishable by up to five years in prison. According to the government, the misinformation ban was a crucial step towards stopping fake news from undermining the fight against the pandemic, however, several organizations, such as the International Press Institute, expressed their concern about independent journalism being threatened in Hungary.

Online news and independent media

Index.hu was the leading independent news portal in Hungary until summer 2020, when almost the entire editorial team resigned as a response to government pressure. Shortly after, the former workers of Index launched a new website, Telex.hu, the country’s first entirely crowdfunded news portal. However, as Hungarians are not used to paying for online news, the long-term survival of Telex.hu might be threatened. As a consequence of the decreasing number of independent media outlets in Hungary, in recent years, the share of population under the impression that the press in the country was biased and not informing the public adequately has grown continuously. Moreover, according to the findings of a survey conducted in March 2020, less than a third of Hungarians were of the opinion that reliable information was easily accessible for everybody.

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News consumption in Hungary

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