Zsolt Boda and Veronika Patkós recently published a new article entitled "Driven by politics: agenda setting and policy-making in Hungary 2010–2014" in Policy Studies.
"Studies on media and politics generally find an effect of the media on the symbolic policy agenda. Analysing data from the Hungarian Comparative Agendas Project, we demonstrate that this effect is extremely weak in the Hungarian policy-making process. We identified those issues that received greater than average coverage in the media. However, we found that in the majority of cases governmental initiatives or decisions preceded the media coverage – that is, instead of the media agenda pulling the policy agenda, the general logic is the opposite: the media are talking about the policy initiatives of the government. The ambition of the paper is twofold. First, our findings reinforce those claims in the literature that point to the many institutional and political factors affecting the media-politics nexus. This suggests that policy-making might be very different in new(er) democracies. Second, our research analyses the policy-making side of Viktor Orbán’s governance. Changes in the polity, democratic backlash and illiberal tendencies are usually the focus concerning the political changes in Hungary since 2010, but no attention has been devoted to how this type of governance is reflected in policy-making. Our paper seeks to make a contribution also in this respect."