The Media Landscape in the Rise of Illiberal Democracy in Viktor Orbán's Hungary: The Closing of Magyar Nemzet

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2023-05

Authors

Fuster, Anthony Oscar

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Abstract

This paper examines the impact of and on the media in Hungary’s recently diminished democracy. This paper acknowledges the importance of an independent and flourishing media body to sustain democracy. Hungary’s democracy is in regress, and the media is increasingly state influenced. The thesis examines relevant laws, policies, and practices to provide context for the watershed 2018 election that led to many critical independent media outlets' closure, consolidation, or sale. As the main case, this thesis examined the events that led to the closure of Magyar Nemzet, comparing it against its peers and then contextualizing it into the conversation surrounding democracy in Hungary. The research discovered that despite adverse policies, corrupt oligarchs, and sustained losses, the sheer slightness of Hungary's independent media has led to its near extinction. Hungarian independent media has fallen below the critical mass to sustain itself and is in a death spiral.

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