Government spokesman’s former company produces news for public and commercial radios

As we recently reported, the National News Agency’s (MTI) radio service provides government-leaning news to public radios, as well as to 27 commercial radio stations. The service, named Hangos Hírek (Voice News), is offered to radio stations for merely 20-100,000 HUF per month. Following our FOIA request regarding the issue, it turned out that the news service is produced by Strategopolis Kft., the company previously owned by András Giro-Szász, who is currently the spokesman of the Hungarian government. Outsourcing the news production costs 42 million HUF of public funds a year. What’s more, the company gets edited news from MTI free of charge, and it only has to pay 300,000 HUF per month for renting a studio at MTI.

The firm is also a sub-contractor of Fidesz and still has ties to the government through Gábor Imre Bódi who is also an owner of Századvég Gazdaságkutató Zrt., a government-leaning research center and think tank.

The original article was published on 11/02/2014, in Hungarian. Edited by Orsolya Gulyás.