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Monday 23.07.2018 | Name days: Magda, Magone, Mērija

Latvian Media Council to limit broadcasts of RTR channel in Latvia

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The National Electronic Mass Media council has made a unanimous decision to restrict the broadcasting of Rossiya RTR television channel in Latvia three months after this decision comes into force. This decision was made based on Article 19 of the Electronic Mass Media Law.

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAfter inspecting records of recent news reports provided by RTR, the Media Council concluded that these news reports contain information that breaches Points 3 and 4 of Article 26 of the Electronic Mass Media Law. This kind of information is presented by RTR regularly. However, there was a notable increase in non-compliance with the law during the period of March 2 – 16.

In a letter dated April 1st, 2014, Security Police provided the Media Council with its own opinion on news reports of RTR. It is noted in the letter that the news presented in RTR news reports contains information that describes events in a very tendentious way, typically interpreted in accordance with foreign policy of the Russian Federation and justifying the military aggression against a sovereign country, which is something most of democratic countries of the world condemned.

RTR news reports are dominated by the opinion that the President of the Russian Federation had all the rights to introduce military forces in Ukraine to protect Russian-speaking citizens there. Security Police, on the other hand, believes RTR and a number of other television channels of the Russian Federation provide their audiences with tendentious information that negatively impacts Latvia’s national security.

Profession, PhD Daina Teters provided an analysis of the linguistic and general thought strategy of news reports and programmes of RTR on April 2nd, 2014. It is stated in this report that the mass media channels, especially propaganda programmes, often employ a specific type of linguistic and non-linguistic, semantic and pragmatic design.

In other words, in such cases it is useful to use previously used or specifically programmed associations that help describe the desired type of reality. This kind of setup is intended to be used on established thought patterns and thereby increases the formation of stereotypes. The latter may include neutrality and the kind of stereotypes that encourage people to act or remain inactive. The report concludes that RTR news reports and programmes reflect one-sided and surface information. On top of that, programmes of RTR use materials that are aimed at influencing the audience’s perception of events in order to make sure they accept the information presented to them and do not criticize it.

Latvian Media Council has concluded that RTR news reports contain unjustifiable calls to war or a military conflict and increase ethnic hate.

The Media Council believes it is necessary to prevent violation of legitimate objectives, which is something programmes and news reports provided by RTR are said to aim for, in order to defend state security, territorial integrity and social security. In addition to that, considering the important role television plays in supplying residents with information about developments in the world, The Media Council believes there are no alternative legal mechanisms to limit RTR other than a restriction on broadcasts in accordance with Article 1 of the Electronic Mass Media Law.

The Council believes the losses mass media operators could suffer from the restriction to broadcast RTR will not be high. With that, the Council believes society would benefit greatly from the restriction of RTR broadcasts in Latvia. Such a restriction is justifiable with rights of society for security and higher overall stability in the country.

In accordance with Article 188 Administrative Procedure Law, the decision of the National Mass Media Council can be challenged within one month after it coming into force by submitting a plea to the Administrative District Court.


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