Reducing market reliance in focus of new public-service media laws, says MP

Budapest, November 25 (MTI) – Hungary’s new media laws will aim to improve efficiency by reducing the current overlaps in public-service media content provision under “slightly more centralised operation”, Antal Rogan, deputy leader of the governing Fidesz party, told a press conference on Thursday.

The aim is to prevent public-service media from being subjected to market conditions and to reduce its reliance on funding from the media market, Rogan, who originally submitted the bill, said.

    ”We will launch a system of task-based funding where money is allocated for the production of high-quality content,” he said. “The priorities are not viewer numbers or advertisement revenues, but the content itself: this is the essence of public service,” he added.

    ”A public-service news portal at the news agency MTI should not have to compete with services operated today on market principles. It is rather the ability to influence which is vital, the fact that these public-service outlets can present a different type of content,” Rogan said.

    On content regulation, Rogan said the aim was to prevent excessive concentration on the media market. The state would interfere beyond a limit of a 35-percent audience share, and prevent any media provider from starting a new media service after reaching that limit. In Hungary so far no service provider has reached this level of concentration, he added.

    There will be quotas imposed in programme composition, for example a new element is the music quota, which states that Hungarian music must make up at least 25 percent of music broadcast on Hungarian radios, Rogan added.

    A new, more transparent system will emerge, and supervision will be cheaper, he said.

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