Media companies failed to disclose incomes from the state sector
After right-leaning news and opinion site mandiner.hu released its takings from state company advertisements, atlatszo.hu conducted a poll among more than a dozen of media companies to get some information about their incomes from state owned institutions. Only two (Népszava, Élet és Irodalom – ÉS) out of seventeen (Magyar Nemzet, Lánchíd Rádió, Hír TV, Népszabadság, Heti Válasz, Index, Demokrata, Echo TV, Class FM, Origo, Magyar Narancs, ATV, Népszava, RTL Klub, tv2, HVG, Élet és Irodalom – ÉS) media outlets answered our questions. While socialist daily Népszava took almost 300 million HUF from state companies before the 2010 elections, this sum shrunk to the small amount of 2 million HUF in 2011. Much smaller weekly Élet és Irodalom could rely upon state owned cultural institutions in 2009 with a spending of 4 million HUF, last year they only took 429 thousand HUF from their ads. Although surveys say advertisement spending policies of state companies created a highly unequal situation between media companies according to their political affiliations, some expensive ads often appear in oppositional newspapers as well. Silence of the other 15 media companies still sustains questions about their transparency and independence of state funding.