STA, 11 February 2022 - The International Press Institute has a released a report on Hungarian investments in foreign media that suggests the Hungarian model of government control of the media is being transposed to Slovenia, which it says is important in light of Slovenia's upcoming general election.
The report says that after subjugating media at home, the Hungarian government, aided by companies controlled by its political allies, has started building a media empire in Slovenia and North Macedonia that is supposed to "act as megaphones for its regional ideological allies."
Both Slovenia and North Macedonia have thus seen in recent years an inflow of Hungarian investments in media, either in media serving Hungarian national minorities in several countries, or media connected with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's ideological allies.
Such investments - the most notable examples in Slovenia include the TV channel Planet TV, publisher Nova Obzorja and TV station and news portal Nova24 - raise serious questions about the exporting of Fidesz's model of illiberal democracy to countries in Hungary's neighbourhood and beyond, the report says.
And while Fidesz politicians insist such investments are purely commercial, IPI says the evidence suggests that they are "rather part of a broad political strategy of influencing media and supporting ideological allies of Fidesz," in Slovenia's case Prime Minister Janez Janša.
The report, available at https://ipi.media/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/hu.pdf, was written in collaboration with independent investigative reporters and leans heavily on Slovenian investigative journalism portals.