Hungary | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status


Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Independent media thrive, but some political interference continues to trouble the press. Article 61 of the constitution provides for freedom of expression and the press. A 1996 media law requires both ruling and opposition parties to share appointments to state media oversight boards. Opposition parties had accused the previous government of stacking the oversight boards. After losing power in 2002, the former ruling party accused the new government of improperly influencing state television and radio. The main opposition newspaper, Magyar Nemzet, alleged that the new government was exerting inappropriate pressure on its advertisers, thus endangering the paper's financial viability. Pro-government media outlets at times receive better access to official information. Hungary's two national private television broadcasters attract the vast majority of country's viewers, while the three state-owned stations account for roughly 10 percent. Numerous private radio stations operate throughout Hungary. All of the country's national newspapers are privately owned.