Author Archive

Péter Bajomi-Lázár

Péter Bajomi-Lázár is Head of the Institute of Social Sciences and Associate Professor of Mass Communication at the Social Communication and Media Department of the Budapest Business School and editor of the Hungarian media studies quarterly Médiakutató. He worked between October 2009 and September 2013 as a senior research fellow with Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, a European Research Council project based at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, and spent five months in 2003 on a Fulbright Research Grant at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina studying the history and standards of political journalism in the United States. He earned a PhD in political science at the Central European University in 2004. He was, between 1999 and 2009, teaching media sociology, media policy, and media history at various higher education institutions in Hungary, and has been conducting media policy research since 2001. He was granted the Hungarian Pulitzer Memorial Award in 2002 for his book on Hungary's "media war" (A magyarországi médiaháború, 2001). He has authored six monographs and edited six volumes. His latest book is Party Colonisation of the Media in Central and Eastern Europe (Budapest & New York: Central European University Press, 2014).

In April 2011, in a symbolic move, Budapest’s Republic Square was renamed after the late Pope John-Paul II. This was one of the many consequences of the electoral victory of the Fidesz Party and its Christian Democrat allies a year earlier. The winners immediately called it a ‘revolution at the voting booths’. With the support of 53 percent of voters, the alliance won 67 percent majority in parliament, and soon began to colonise the public sphere in an attempt to embed its Christian, nationalist and conservative values. By 2012, the new government has fundamentally reshaped Hungary’s media landscape. Throughout the 2000s, Freedom House listed Hungary amongst other ‘free press’ countries, with scores meeting the regional average. Yet for 2011, Hungary was …