1300 articles and thirty thousand users on the SAO News Portal

2018-07-02 15:15:00   |   Author: Radócz Ákos

More than thirty thousand individual visitors, 1,300 articles and seventy thousand sessions – these were the most important indicators of the SAO News Portal in the first half of 2018. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the portal boasted a 10% year-on-year increase in the number of published news articles. In May, 218 articles were published on the activity of the SAO, which means that we again managed to break the record set in the previous year. On a daily basis, 400 colleagues edit the constantly updated News Portal, which is supported by innovative means. The new features are expected to include a website optimised for smart devices and the Spanish language version of the SAO News Portal.

Transparency and accountability are the cornerstones of a democratic state apparatus. Publicly funded entities must provide information to taxpayers and other stakeholders on the utilisation of the public funds they are entrusted with, disclosing what activities they perform and how this impacts the lives of citizens. This statement holds especially true for the State Audit Office of Hungary, Hungary's supreme financial and economic audit organisation.


The News Portal ensures the SAO’s total transparency


By renewing its communications activities, the SAO principally aimed to become the primary source of news of itself and be able to share quick, up-to-date, undistorted and authentic information. Our aim was to firmly state the facts when it came to the State Audit Office, along with our opinion and interpretation. Debates should not be based on what others think of us, but on how we perceive ourselves. Additionally, seizing the opportunities presented by online communication, in 2011 we launched the SAO News Portal, a new online platform alongside our traditional institutional website (www.asz.hu).


1300 articles and thirty thousand users on the SAO News Portal


Available in four different languages at the moment, the SAO News Portal allows insight into the daily work of the State Audit Office of Hungary, establishing the transparency of the operation of our publicly funded institution at a level unique even by international standards. Visitors can track audit processes through the various audit phases from planning and topic selection to utilisation.


The uniqueness of the News Portal lies in the fact that content is not provided by a dedicated organisational unit, but rather the departments and colleagues working on audits themselves provide updates on their activities. In a certain sense, it functions like a blog. Communication plans are drawn up for ongoing audits which ensure continuous information flow. In the first half of 2018, almost 400 staff members were given uploader rights. This fact means that already two-thirds of all the employees of the State Audit Office of Hungary are entitled to actively edit the website. Everyone publishes under their own name on the site, a fact that can be well tracked and monitored, while the Department of Communication and Institutional Relations (KKO) is responsible for the operation and technical supervision of the News Portal and for granting authorisations and privileges.


Nearly 1300 articles, ten per cent more articles in Hungarian


In the first half of 2018, SAO staff published a total of 1 281 articles. As far as languages are concerned, there were 1 007 articles in Hungarian, 132 articles in English, 40 articles in German and 32 articles in French. The number of foreign language articles could still significantly increase as a result of translation processes. On a monthly basis, there were 107 news items published on average and, including bank holidays and week-ends, 3.5 new articles per day were made available for viewing for readers on the SAO News Portal.


Comparing the current numbers, which are outstandingly high, with the 980 articles published in Hungarian in the first half of 2017, the number of articles published rose by almost one tenth compared with the same period of the previous year.


Published articles: We broke the record again


There were 134 new articles posted on the Hungarian SAO News Portal in January, 164 in February, 157 in March, 199 in April, 218 in May and 205 in June. Similarly to the previous half year, the number of articles published per month increased this half year as well: By publishing 218 articles in May 2018, we broke all previous records. In September 2017, 215 articles were published on the SAO News Portal. This record has just been broken.


If you look at the above statistics more closely, you find that in the month with the lowest number of articles, the News Portal published 4 articles daily, while in the most prolific month, the average rate was 7 articles a day. Except for January, the number of published articles exceeded 150 every month, evidencing that the SAO continuously ensured the transparency of its work and activities in the first half of 2018.


More than 30 000 visitors and 70 000 sessions


To ensure the demonstrability of accurate and relevant statistics, the SAO’s Department of Communication and Public Relations uses the Google Analytics system to measure the number of visitors on the SAO News Portal.


In the first half of 2018, the 1 281 articles attracted a total of 30 894 users, while the 1 077 materials published in Hungarian raised the interest of 27 872 individual users. The average number of the readers of the SAO News Portal exceeded 2 300 per month, which meant 153 individual users per day on average. In the same period of 2017, the number of individual users was 23 121, which means that the number of users browsing the Hungarian language News Portal increased by one fifth in the first six months of 2018.


In the period reviewed, there were 69 670 sessions, while in the case of Hungarian language articles, this figure reached 63 566. In 2017, the number of sessions totalled 56 345. Based on the above, there was a nearly 13% increase in this area.


What can be expected in the second half of the year?


In the first half of 2018, the Department of Communication and Public Relations of the State Audit Office of Hungary introduced several innovations on the external and internal interfaces of the SAO News Portal in order to make them clearer and more functional for readers and users. Plans for the second half of the year include the optimisation of the website for smart devices so that our readers can have easy access to the articles on the News Portal everywhere.


We intend to further develop the professional parameters, as well as the content and the quality of our articles. We wish to make the technical environment more manageable, and put more emphasis on the training of our colleagues. In addition, plans of the SAO include the launch of a Spanish site in the autumn of 2018 to further increase our international presence. The articles published by the SAO on the News Portal can still be shared on Facebook with the Recommend button.


Radócz Ákos
Péter Rácz
Department of Communication and Public Relations


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