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Hungarian journalists have a dire view of their profession

Nearly two-thirds of the queried journalists think that their colleagues are politically biased, a recently published poll by Uniomedia and Nézőpont Intézet reveals.

Journalists’ perception of the Hungarian press has sharply deteriorated since the last poll in the previous year. This time, only 3% of the respondents said that journalists are politically independent, down from 11%. Also, they are even less satisfied with their wages than they were in 2010: 68% expressed dissatisfaction, compared to 47% last year.

The only positive change from last year is that the proportion of journalists believing that their peers are better informed increased to 36% from last year’s 25%.

Journalists however have a much better opinion of themselves than of the profession in general. While the majority feels underpaid and overwhelmed, more than 60% believe they are politically independent.

In spite of the negative perception of the profession in corruption-related issues, when journalists were asked about themselves, more than 80% said they were impeccable and only 5% confessed involvement in corruption.

At the same time, more than half of the respondents said that they personally know colleagues who received hidden remuneration for publishing an article. Only 24% said they are unaware of such actions, and every fifth journalists declined to answer the question.

When it comes to quality, the majority of journalists expressed a very negative opinion. Interestingly, journalists in top management roles have a more optimistic view on the quality of the Hungarian press, while only 3% of journalists in employee status thought the same.

All queried agreed that the most important task of the media is to provide balanced and objective information, however, only 7% thought that the Hungarian press in general meets this expectation.