All Power to the Media Council?
A press release by Klubradio, Budapest
Two of the latest amendments of the Media Act constitute a particular threat to
Klubradio’s future operation; these new developments in general turn the Media
Council’s (Médiatanács) already strong powers into full authority. One of the new
provisions states that it is now only the Media Council that is authorised to make
broadcasting agreements, which means that courts will no longer have the power
to shape the rules of these agreements, which essentially deprives them of the
opportunity to make judgements in such cases. Another amended rule states the
Media Council will not have the obligation to conclude a contract. This basically
means that even if a tender has a clear winner, the Media Council will have the
right to ignore the results of the tender and only conclude the contract if the
winner is the bidder the Media Council prefers. For Klubradio, this has a serious
consequence: even if there is a final court judgement in a frequency case, this will
not be binding for the Media Council. For the future, this means that frequency
tenders, in which public property is sold, will be a laughing stock as there will be
no competition: broadcasting rights will go to those favoured by those in power.
MP Menczer is right: not only is this amendment another attack on Klubradio but it
also effectively prevents the operation of independent radio stations.
20 May 2012