Research by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) shows Hungarians’ media consumption is varied both in big cities and smaller settlements.
The authority’s chairman András Koltay told MTI that the data refute the assumption held by many that Hungarians’ access to news is limited outside of big cities. The internet has a strong presence everywhere, and people get their information from a number of different sources, he added. “People who want to be informed can do so from a vast range of sources, and they do. The trope, repeated by many around the time of the general election, that people living in small towns and villages want just one kind of news and read only the daily newspaper for their county is untrue. There, too, media consumption is varied. It’s another matter that people who want to form a diverse picture of the world need to follow various media, but everybody has the chance to do that, and the data show there is demand for that in Hungarian society,” Koltay said. The NMHH data show the time Hungarians spend watching television – over 4.5 hours a day, on average – is among the most in Europe, he said, while noting that they also use the internet 3.5 hours a day on average. Print media is on the decline, in line with the global trend, but cross-consumption is strong, he said. Only around one-fourth of Hungarians say they consume just one type of media, and for most of them that are the internet, not television, he added. Koltay noted that the NMHH has been mandated by parliament to play a coordinating role in the local transposition of the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) for online platforms. The directive marks “a new chapter” in media regulation and raises “an awful lot of issues that need to be cleared up”, he added. A negative development Koltay pointed out is the bigger share of advertising spending channelled to internet service providers. Two-thirds of that money goes to foreign-owned tech giants that take it out of the country, leaving less for local content production, he said.