At the conference entitled Press Freedom in Hungary 2023, organized by the Nézőpont Institute, Hungary's State Secretary for International Communications and Relations, Zoltán Kovács, criticized the press in Western Europe, stating that they want to turn it into a political weapon, and in fact, it already functions as such. He claimed that the press is not independent in Western Europe, and that the media puts pressure on governments.
In Zoltán Kovács’s view, Western media does not represent what people want, but the money that flows in, and that the press and politics are intertwined.
Bánk Levente Boros, director of analysis at the Nézőpont Institute, stated that Hungary has one of the cleanest regulatory systems in Europe, and that journalists in Hungary are free to write about any topic and about anyone, without taboos. He cited the findings of the institute's study entitled Growing Diversity - 10 Facts about the Hungarian Media, which shows that Hungary has freedom of the press technically, legally, and in terms of content.
Boros highlighted that all news sources in Hungary are easily accessible to anyone, and that there is a political balance in the media market, with equal numbers of people consuming pro- and anti-government press. He added that the weight of media critical of the government has been increasing since the change of government in 2010, with the number of media outlets increasing from 34 to 52 since 2010.
Ágoston Sámuel Mráz, head of the Nézőpont Institute, presented a public opinion survey on whether citizens in a given country can get all the information they need from the media in their own country. According to the survey, 45% of Hungarians answered yes, which is similar to Romanians, Austrians and Poles, and is "proof of the quality of the media", said Mráz.
Moreover, surveys show that 80% of the population regularly watch TV, 75% regularly use the internet, 43% listen to the radio, and 19.5% read the printed press. The television market offers free access to 16 channels, so everyone has access to news from different TV channels, regardless of their financial situation. 83% of households have broadband internet access, which is higher than the EU average.
The head of the Nézőpont Institute also presented the results of a survey as proof that there is political balance in the media market in Hungary. According to the survey, 75.5% of respondents consume media that could be considered pro-government, while 80% said they follow sources critical of the government.