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Wednesday 20.02.2019 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris
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LTV disagrees with national media council over use of Sputnik photos

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULTV does not agree with the opinion detailed in an official letter from National Electronic Mass Media Council regarding the use of photos from Sputnik news agency by LSM.lv media portal and how this would be in breach of Electronic Mass Media Law.

On 14 March the National Electronic Mass Media Council sent a request to LTV to perform monitoring of its social network accounts and sources of photos published by LSM.lv in the period between 1 January 2017 and 14 March 2018. It was concluded that LSM.lv had published 53,782 articles within roughly 15 months. Photos from Sputnik news agency make up 0.7% of illustrated articles at LSM.lv.

Photos from the aforementioned news agency were noted at LSM.lv social network accounts seventeen times over the period of time in question. This makes up 0.2% of all photos used. Photos in question detail events in Russia, air plane crashes, natural disasters and sports scandals. According to LTV, photos from Sputnik are not used regularly.

On 4 April 2018, LTV board received an official letter from the media council. In it the institution voiced dissatisfaction with work performed by LTV and LSM.lv, specifically in regards to the use of photos from Sputnik. The letter mentions that such behaviour from a public media outlet does not fit requirements of the Electronic Mass Media Law regarding realization of public orders. LTV does not agree with the council’s concerns that its work may not comply with competences detailed in Section 60 of Electronic Mass Media Law.

LTV representatives say that «journalists fulfil editorial independence and basic principles of quality journalism. LTV employees are professionals. When picking an illustration for an article, they pick the most appropriate images».

«The reasons for using Sputnik photo materials and their amount does not in any way breach Latvia’s national interests and sense of patriotism, as the letter from National Electronic Mass Media Council would imply,» said LTV board chairman Ivars Belte said.

LTV does not agree with the council’s position «and has no intention of changing its editorial policy». LTV has also turned to European Broadcasting Union to find out the established measures European media outlets take in regards to the use of images from Sputnik and other Russian news agencies.


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