An Overview of the Media Landscape in Central Europe

September 10, 2018

Bernhard Odehnal recently wrote an article about the changes happening in Central Europe's media landscape, analysing the situation with the use of data produced by Visegrad Insight. With foreign companies withdrawing from the newspaper business, and nationalist governments taking control of public service broadcasters, Odehnal looks at similarities and differences between Western and Eastern Europe, writing that "media in Eastern Europe are facing the same problems as those in the west: their print runs are declining, advertising revenue is dropping dramatically, and readers are migrating to free services on the internet." The article also quotes CMDS director Marius Dragomir, who "believes the crisis of journalism in Central and Eastern Europe to be much more serious. Economic pressure is increased by governments that try to bring inconvenient media to their knees with severe penalties for supposedly dubious reports and by boycotting advertisements. Those who do not succumb to the pressure are denounced as traitors. Under these conditions it is almost impossible for journalists to remain independent and neutral. In Poland, Ukraine, Serbia and Hungary, media are labelled according to two categories: “loyal to the government” and “critical of the government”. Consumers, however, no longer trust either side."

The article originally appeared in German. Read the English translation here.