Zselyke Csáky Compares Hungarian and French Media Situation in Internationale Politik

June 28, 2022

Time and vigilance are of the essence in protecting democracy and preventing a Hungarian-style press takeover in France and elsewhere, CMDS Fellow Zselyke Csáky warns in an article in German magazine Internationale Politik.

Comparing the Hungarian and French media situation in light of the recent elections, Zselyke Csáky argues that Hungary is well-known to have problems with free and pluralistic media, but the elections in France have also revealed long-term trends affecting the freedom and independence of the press.

She identifies vulnerabilities in the French media such as the collapse of the ad-based business model, which opens the door to oligarchic influence, or mistrust and disinformation, although not on the same scale as in Hungary.

[Orbán] has built a narrative framework in Hungary that, while ideologically flexible, still offers his right-wing constituency a compact, comprehensive worldview.

This is not the case in France, where there is still a wide range of quality reporting and watchdog journalism on offer, capable of affecting the public discourse. She concludes that free and independent media remain an important bulwark of democracy.