The shortage of analogue radio frequencies allowed the media authority to decide who gets to broadcast. The new, digital technology allows for as many radios as content creators wish to churn out.
This is probably why in the third decade of the 21st century Hungarian state authorities discontinued digital radio service – even though the trend is the opposite in first world countries (like backward Norway), with analogue radio broadcasting being discontinued instead.
Their justification is the most fucked up. They claim to have canceled digital radio because people supposedly were not interested.
Broadcasters were not concerned about that and there was a demand – so why the touching, fatherly concern for them? Why not let them do a futile business – just as it happens everywhere else?
This has nothing to do with who listens to radio and what kind. It should only be down to the broadcasters and the audience. If the first wants to invest and broadcast – go for it. If the latter wants to tune out and browse only their Facebook and listen to conspiracy broadcasts – so be it. Let reality figure itself out, it costs nothing to the taxed masses and requires no attention from authorities.
But of course, if the market is left to figure it out, the Media Council (turbo-loyalized as early as 2011) would have less say in who gets to broadcast. So after a decade of feet-dragging and neglect to foster (or allow) transition, the authorities now exhale with relief and return to the fully state-controlled frequency distribution system. The one that was used to silence non-loyalist radio channels time and again.
I wonder if the process was kicked off by the news of the return of Radio Free Europe – the American cold war relic that was used to penetrate the Eastern Bloc countries through the airwaves – on the very same day the Hungarian media authority timed the digital shutdown. The new RFE turned out to be a website, but authorities didn’t know that when they kicked off the un-digitization process.
If you think it’s too petty and no one would bother with such a minor outlet where a non-loyalist might be heard – think again.
They have recently shut down the biggest – in many regards the only – independent and mainstream media source that was not zombified yet. Their attention is now turned to minor news outlets and websites – maybe four or five altogether, neither has any considerable reach or nationwide penetration – and the demolition continues. There is nothing small enough to fly under the radar in the tenth year of the juggernaut. And hungry loyalists on the lowest levels are scouring their environment for “opposition” to cancel, to destroy – in the hope to get promoted or be awarded some EU money.
Or because that is their actual job, they really don’t do anything else.