Like most other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, since the political transformation in 1989-1990, Hungary has evinced a week newspaper market, a high level of political parallelism, a low level of journalistic professionalisation, and a high level of state and/or government intervention.

The Hungarian media landscape has, however, undergone major changes in recent years. While the one-party model of the press was transformed into a multi-party model during and after the demise of the state socialist regime in 1989-1990, a near one-party model has emerged again after the electoral victory of the Fidesz/Christian Democrats party alliance in 2010. Conservative and nationalist voices have earned a near-hegemony in the print press and the broadcast media, whereas critical views have been largely marginalised. Hungary, which until 2010 compared with the most developed countries of Central and Eastern Europe such as the Czech Republic and Slovenia, has been since then evincing more similarities with the least developed ones such as Bulgaria and Romania. In particular, features commonly shared with the latter countries now include the enhanced political instrumentalisation of the press, the growing role of domestic and politically affiliated media oligarchs, the preferential redistribution of media resources such as state advertising funds and broadcasting frequencies, and the rise of kompromat journalism.

The Hungarian media landscape continues to change dynamically. In 2015 and 2016, a number of new pro-government outlets have been launched, while critical ones have either changed their political position or have been closed down as a result of ownership changes, financial pressures, or the loss of broadcasting licences. In consequence of these developments, the transparency of government has declined, and media freedom has been severely flawed in recent years.