Marius Dragomir on Hungarian and Polish Media in El Diario

October 11, 2021

Our Director Marius Dragomir talked to Spanish online newspaper El Diario about the situation of the media in Hungary and Poland.

The article looks at how Hungarian ruling party Fidesz became illiberal, and reviews the clashes between the two countries and the EU.

In the article, Dragomir explains the concept of media capture, of which Hungary is a “textbook case.” He says that in Hungary, the public narrative is nearly totally controlled, as the government, together with a few powerful companies controls the media. The problem goes beyond the media and concerns, for example, the justice system as well.

Dragomir thinks the steps the EU has taken so far regarding Poland and Hungary are “a disaster,” although with the debate on the linking of EU funding to compliance with the rule of law, the EU's position has recently become much stronger. Yet he believes this may have come too late.

Discussing the broader geographical context, Dragomir says Hungary has the worst situation, followed by Poland. The situation in Slovenia, he says, is unexpected because the media there had a very high level of independence, yet the process of media capture is happening there, too. The Czech Republic also faces a bad situation with the country’s prime minister being a key media owner.