The prominence given to immigration in domestic Hungarian politics since 2015 has surprised migration experts. It took a particularly distinct form in the period leading up to the general election in April 2018, when migration was placed centre-stage, albeit presented in a distorted, negative way, in the government-controlled media such as the Hungarian news website Origo (origo.hu). We never thought that we would witness such a clear example of moral panic.
Years ago, Origo used to be the leading news site in Hungary. In February 2016, Origo was acquired by investors with ties to the government, and since then, the once high-quality news portal has increasingly turned into a pro-government propaganda outlet. As a result, Origo now publishes articles spreading hatred against migrants in many ways and many forms. On 13 March 2018, the front page of Origo used the word 'migrant' 12 times, always in negative contexts, such as violence, terrorism, war, and threat.