22 July 2021
While Fidesz is a member of the European People’s Party, the pro-governmental and pro-Russian media is producing anti-Brussels messages on an industrial scale. There are practically no articles in which the European Union appears in a positive way.
Before the European Parliamentary elections, Political Capital made research to reveal the image of Brussels in pro-Russian and pro-governmental media pieces that are frequently spreading disinformation1.
Political Capital analysed 367 Hungarian-language articles published between 15 March and 15 April by eight different portals known to be spreading disinformation regarding the European Union. Three of them (Origo, 888, Magyar Nemzet) are a part of the de facto government-controlled Central European Press and Media Foundation (KESMA); one is the online portal run by the Public Broadcaster (MTVA), which heavily promotes the government’s views; and the other four are less popular alternative pro-Kremlin portals (News Front Hungary, Orosz Hírek, Balrad, Világ Figyelő).
The main target of government-controlled portals was the European Union. We tagged 98 articles, or 27% of the total sample, as Eurosceptic. In contrast, 20% of the 446 texts on RT/Sputnik English that we analysed were Eurosceptic. These are articles that spread disinformation about the EU to negatively influence the population’s perceptions on the bloc. The majority of these articles discussed ultraconservative values (e.g., migration), national sovereignty and the bureaucratic nature of the Union.