Hungary in the international press

Each year Médianéző Központ publishes a review of Hungary’s politically relevant mentions by 120 of the world’s most distinguished printed and online press products.

The 2018 research covered 18 countries, 15 languages, and analysed communications between 1 January 1 and 31 December.

Hungary was featured in the international press with growing frequency throughout 2018. The number of mentions in the same press product shows a 13 percent increase. Naturally, the parliamentary elections attracted the most attention.

The bias of the world press against Hungary has remained unchanged, with the proportion of critical articles exceeding that of favorable mentions (36 and 3 percent, respectively). The majority of writings, however, may be considered value neutral (61 percent).

Hungary received the greatest attention from Central-Eastern Europe. Western platforms, while featuring Hungary less frequently, were more hostile towards it. While only 19 percent of articles in the region’s media were negative, criticism of Hungary in the Western press reached 47 percent. Hungary was discussed most objectively by the V4 countries, with 85 percent of mentions being neutral.

International press mentions in 2018 were dominated by the government’s themes (George Soros, migration, Ukraine). Reporting was most neutral in connection with the well-defined topic of the Hungarian-Ukrainian conflict, while most criticisms centred around elusive, generalised accusations of illiberalism, populism and authoritarianism.

Just as in 2017, Viktor Orbán receives the title of most featured politician again, generating over three times more mentions than the next nine politicians together. In addition to the Prime Minister, another seven government party and two opposition politicians feature in the top 10.

The printed Der Standard (Germany) and online sme.sk (Slovakia) featured Hungary the most in 2018, and the Financial Times (UK) and online portal lemonde.fr (France) were the most critical towards it. The most objective writings were offered to readers by the newspaper Lidové noviny (Czechia), while tanjug.rs (Serbia) published the most neutral articles online.