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Friday 22.02.2019 | Name days: Rigonda, Adrians, Ārija
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Media Council: restriction of propaganda will yield results if we use a systematic approach

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RURestriction of Russian propaganda in Latvia’s information space will become effective if we oppose it as though it were a system, deputy chief of National Electronic Mass Media Council Ivars Āboliņš told journalists, explaining the new proposals for protection of information space.

Deputy Chief of the media council mentioned that Russian RTR television channel’s possible violations are serious and should be treated sternly. ‘Every case is debatable, but looking at the whole picture it becomes clear that we’re dealing with a system,’ says Āboltiņš.

He says one of the possible proposals would be expanding the Electronic Mass Media Law with a requirement to report facts in a way that would not mislead the audience. A neutrality principle would allow the council to oppose cases when Latvia’s reputation comes under fire and the requirement for news neutrality is not complied with. «I believe we should come up with effective penalties tied to a percentage from the perpetrating company’s turnover. This would help up oppose not just hate speech but also lies. This is why I invite the Saeima to be decisive and resist pressure from lobbyists. I also ask the parliament to approve amendments as soon as possible,» says Āboliņš.

He adds that the media council has come up with a road map with eleven points intended to ensure cooperation. «This roadmap includes steps recommended to be undertaken by the media council, Culture Ministry, Saeima, Foreign Affairs Ministry and Economy Ministry. This roadmap will help improve the situation in Latvia’s information space in a long-term perspective,» says Āboliņš.

Media council member Patriks Grīva notes that a different proposal includes identifying true beneficiaries in each propaganda case. The media council proposes adopting a rule that would require media owners to reveal their true beneficiaries by submitting relevant information to the council.

Media council member Aurēlija Ieva Druviete says improving information space requires authorities to work with high-quality information space and come up with ways to use tools that would cover different audiences. «One solution is expanding contents published on lsm.lv for national minorities. We will wait for proposals from LTV and Latvijas Radio until mid-June. After that, we will think about future measures,» says Druviete.


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