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Tuesday 23.04.2019 | Name days: Jurģis, Juris, Georgs
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Latvian Saeima blasts mass media council for «rushing» decision about LTV

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe decision made by the National Electronic Mass Media Council, holding a no-confidence vote against LTV chairman Ivars Belte and board member Sergejs Nesterovs, is not sufficiently justified in the public space, said Saeima Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee’s Media Policy Sub-Committee’s chairperson Vita Anda Tērauda.

Mass media council and LTV representatives were called in to the Saeima last year to provide explanations. Ivars Belte was invited as well, Saeima press-service reports.

Deputies criticized the haste in which the decision was made. It is also mentioned that even though the report from the mass media council included three main points regarding LTV’s project management, it is hard to consider them, because they only covered missed deadlines and financing, whereas the reasons for this situation remain unclear. This makes it hard to consider the justifications behind criticisms. Saeima deputies also point to controversial opinions of the mass media council and LTV board in regards to economic activities of the public media. The decision regarding unpaid bonuses, as mentioned in the audit report, suggests that LTV board’s refusal to comply with the mass media council’s decision was the reason for the loss of trust and it cannot be allowed to leave such an impression, says the sub-committee’s chairperson Tērauda.

Deputies asked the mass media council to take action to make sure the decision is properly explained to the general public. The council was asked to explain why in a time when LTV has successfully restored its rating, the board member responsible for content matters loses his post, even though the main points of criticism detailed in the audit are associated with management and financial matters.

Members of the sub-committee say the State Audit detailed in its report on public orders that problems are associated not only with LTV and Latvijas Radio, but also with the work performed by the National Mass Media Council. «It would be worth returning to the matter on work performed by the mass media council to properly react to the problems outlined in reports. This case shows the Saeima should approve a new public media regulation that would allow the mass media council sort conflicting responsibilities and resolve financial matters,» says Tērauda.

The situation will be further discussed during the 9 January meeting of Saeima’s Human Rights and Pubic Affairs Committee.


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