The practice of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the German public media, which considers itself the paragon of objective reporting, is apparently far from its supposedly “independent objective” standards. The true measure of pseudo-objectivity is the double standard that has become obvious in several cases:
- In the name of objectivity, they published biased reports about Hungary;
- while stressing the basic rules of “fair procedure”, they broadcast anti-Hungarian awareness-raising programmes;
- They proclaim the threat of imbalance, while producing clearly one-sided reports on Hungary.
The methods used by the German public media for this purpose can be factually identified:
- Disproportionate selection of topics by suppressing successful government actions and over-representing government-critical items. This is reflected in the fact that apart from certain topics with high attention, events that do not fit into the government-critical narrative, such as family-friendly measures or the historic scale economic growth which is outstanding in European, did not receive proportional coverage in the German public media. On the other hand, there was an unusually high willingness to broadcast government-critical opinions.
- One-sided reporting with disproportionate presentation of opinions. This phenomenon can be witnessed in the fact that nearly six times as many government-critical speakers were given the opportunity as pro-government speakers, thus nearly 82 percent of the broadcasts showed a negative image of Hungary. In addition to the one-sided selection, the one-sided framing of the topics also served to promote a one-sided image.
- Preparation of manipulative reports with intentional factual errors. Instead of reporting facts, the practice of the German public media was characterised by tendentiously distorted and schematic statements, generalisations from a single example, incorrect and over-politicised conclusions.
With this kind of attitude, the audience of the German public media could hardly get an objective image of Hungary. The pseudo-objective and manipulative media routine presented in the analysis reflects the political views and attitudes of the biased media mainstream rather than the alleged intention to provide “fair”, “uninfluenced” and “independent” information. Therefore, the attacks on the Hungarian public media are rather unfounded, since the principles behind the criticism are not even followed by the critical German press itself.
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