Media Freedom Poll 2024

26 Apr 2024

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The Committee for Editorial Independence unveiled new data on media freedom attitudes in Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and Czech Republic. The press conference with a panel debate took place at HVG‘s offices in Budapest on 25th April 2024.

The complete survey results and a video recording of the debate are available at

A brief poll presentation was followed by a panel discussion featuring Tessa Szyszkowitz (moderator), Márton Gergely (HVG, Hungary), Beáta Balogová (SME, Slovakia), Bartosz Wieliński (Gazeta Wyborzca, Poland), Veronika Munk (Denník N, Slovakia), Alexander Dworzak (Reporters Without Borders, Austria) and Václav Štětka (Loughborough University, UK), with comments from European Commissioner Věra Jourová.

Media Freedom Poll 2024 has revealed significant shifts in public attitudes towards media freedom, driven by political changes and growing concerns over Russian interference in the region.

The most striking finding is the sharp decline in concern over media freedom in Poland, dropping from 71% in 2023 to 53% in 2024, following the election of a more mainstream government. This contrasts with the situation in Slovakia and Hungary, where concern over the issue has grown compared to last year, as both governments continue to face criticism over its handling of media freedom and the rule of law.

The poll also highlights the growing fear of Russian penetration of domestic media and public opinion across the V4 countries. A majority of respondents expressed concerns about Russia’s influence, with figures ranging from 61% in Hungary to 77% in Poland.

Despite these concerns, there is strong public support for governments to take action to safeguard media freedom. An overwhelming majority of respondents across all four countries believe that states should strengthen legislation to protect media independence, with figures reaching as high as 78% in Poland and 74% in Slovakia.

The poll, conducted by MEDIAN on behalf of the Committee for Editorial Independence, with the support of the Bakala Foundation, surveyed over 4,000 respondents aged 18 and above across the V4 countries in March 2024. Partners of the press conference with panel debate were Reporters Without Borders, Austria, and HVG.

Tessa Szyszkowitz, Chair of the Committee for Editorial Independence, said: “The Media Freedom Poll’s three-year data reveals a complex landscape of public opinion on press freedom in Central Europe. The contrast between Poland’s declining concern and growing unease in Hungary and Slovakia is striking.”

“As the region grapples with political shifts and Russian influence, our findings underscore the critical importance of safeguarding media independence. The strong public support for action highlights the urgent need for a robust response from governments, civil society, and international institutions.”