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Between threat and opportunity to a young democracy : the reflection of Hungary's media regulation in the German and British written press around the time of the introduction of the media laws in 2010/2011

Liebler, Melina (2015) Between threat and opportunity to a young democracy : the reflection of Hungary's media regulation in the German and British written press around the time of the introduction of the media laws in 2010/2011.

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Abstract:The present thesis focuses on the reflection of Hungary’s media regulation in the German and British press around the time of the introduction of the new media laws in 2010 and 2011. With the help of a two thirds parliamentary majority, Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, decided to introduce a new media regulation within a newly established constitution, which was highly discussed referring to its contradictory content. The new media laws generated international concern and were criticized by many organizations, due to threats to democracy and possible violations against the EU-law. However, advocates that support the changes initiated by Orbán also raised their voice publicly. In line with the embedded democracy model by Wolfgang Merkel, indicators are operationalized in order to identify a dominant threat or opportunity reflection referring to democracy using content analysis. According to Merkel (2004, 2010, 2012), press freedom and not providing politically motivated restrictions for the distribution and reception of information are inherent parts of his partial regimes that must be present in an intact, constitutional democracy. Yet, two-thirds of the articles published in the German and British written press articulate that absolute press freedom is detrimental because political motivations inevitably distort information. As a result, aspects of the partial regimes suffer according to the argumentation line of the articles. Moreover, only few articles reflect the issue under study in a neutral way and none of the articles were considered as somehow positive. Therefore, this thesis essentially draws the conclusion of a clear dominant score reflecting Hungary’s media laws as a threat to democracy across the sample. Although it is given a disproportionate distribution of articles between the countries, Germany and the United Kingdom follow similar patterns. Notwithstanding that this research has its limitations, the outcome can be utilized for raising the attention to a severe problem and it can serve as a basis for further research.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies, 88 social and public administration, 89 political science
Programme:Public Administration BSc (56627)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/67969
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