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State-run media reporting objectively on the war, says Media Council

picture of György Nógrádi

Hungary’s national television channels have been objectively reporting on the war in Ukraine, according to the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH).

At its most recent meeting, the NMHH’s Media Council adopted a study claiming that programs on state-run M1, as well as ATV, Hír TV, TV2 and RTL Klub have “illustrated several positions objectively with the help of experts, and reported on the war next-door to Hungary in a way that processed the complexity of the situation.”

The board examined TV channels in the first week of March, during which time “Russian (or even Ukrainian) war propaganda did not appear in the programs that were sampled.”

However, the earlier media appearances of György Nógrádi (pictured, left) and Georg Spöttle on public television in late February were not examined.

On the second day of the Russian invasion, for example, Spöttle analyzed how Russian soldiers marched calmly, almost professionally into Ukraine, and called it a dangerous solution for Volodymyr Zelenskyy to call on his citizens to arm themselves, comparing the Ukrainian President to Hitler at the end of World War II.

Nógrádi, meanwhile, stated that Putin simply wanted a “pro-Ukrainian government” in power for once, and also made the claim that Ukraine had started the war.

Since February 24, the Media Council has received a total of nine complaints about how the war had been portrayed. The authority rejected these without any substantive investigation, as the complaints “cannot be considered balanced.”

Submissions have generally complained about the reports, but the request for balance must include the specific media segment being objected to, and a relevant position that substantially differs from the information provided. The applicants also did not indicate in their submissions if they had previously complained to the media service provider, although current regulations require that any objections be addressed to them first.

-the authority wrote in a statement.

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