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NEPLP head admits mistakes in work with LTV and Latvijas Radio

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Dace Ķezbere

Chairwoman of Latvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) Dace Ķezbere admits having made mistakes in her work with Latvian Television (LTV) and Latvijas Radio management.

On Wednesday, 9 October, Saeima’s Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee reviewed the legislative draft on Ķezbere’s dismissal. Ķezbere called her speech at the committee’s meeting her «last word». She thanked her colleagues for their assistance in sorting out the industry.

«The question about my professionalism, which surfaced from time to time, was slightly surprising, because I’ve worked in the industry for more than 20 years,» said Ķezbere, adding there is no reason to doubt her professionalism.

She stressed that the 13th Saeima has experienced an unprecedented amount of pressure.

The departing NEPLP manager believes that when coming to work in the council she managed to balance its work after the departure of the last head. She believes it would be incorrect to replace the entire council, as this would paralyze the council’s work.

More on this topic: Exclusive | Kaimiņš: this will be the last national media council in Latvia’s history

«NEPLP has worked in a sufficiently professional manner. I have managed to reinforce the secretariat, which lies in the very heart of the council’s work,» says Ķezbere.

She also touched upon the topic of incomplete and poorly performed work. «I have thought a lot as to what should have been done differently,» she says.

The firsts mistake, according to her, was when she agreed to extend the term for LTV board member Ivars Belte without asking him to participate in a selection process. She thinks a selection process should have been organized.

The second mistake, according to her, was when she failed to convince her colleagues to replace all members of the board of Latvijas Radio. Leaving Sigita Roķe in her post, Ķezbere said, was a mistake and it had caused instability and discord in the team of Latvijas Radio.

The third mistake, according to her, was her not picking Eva Juhņēviča for the post of head of LTV. «Had it been done, the situation there would have been different,» said Ķezbere.

In her speech to deputies, the departing head of NEPLP said Latvia has wonderful audio and video archives left on the brink of collapse, and there is no mechanism to help preserve archives. Ķezbere said she hopes it will be done.

We did not speak of the past today

Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš interrupted Ķezberes speech, stressing that the committee was not discussing whether or not she was doing a good job. «I know my mistakes. On Monday, when it rained, I had gone outside without my umbrella. That was a mistake. It was Monday, but now it’s Wednesday,» he said.

Saeima speaker Ināra Mūrniece said Ķezbere’s story about accomplishments and mistakes was interesting and useful. «It is rare to find a manager rave to enough to speak about what has not been done,» Mūrniece said, adding that «the hardest thing to do is criticize one’s own work».

Read also: No «tangible contribution». Latvian Association of Journalists proposes dissolving NEPLP

Saeima deputy Boriss Cilevičs said self-criticism is underrated. He proposed scheduling a meeting for the committee to discuss the work done by NEPLP. «It would be a good idea to let some self-criticism go. Ķezbere’s speech contained not only self-criticism but also a valuable analysis of the situation in the industry,» said Cilevičs. He thanked Ķezbere for her work.

«We’ve had too much aggression and witch hunts instead of resolving problems. I find it sad to see a professional person leave. This decision makes me sad,» said the deputy.

Saeima deputy Linda Liepiņa said the Saeima has never once discussed the topic of inviting an official to report on the goings-on in an industry. She did agree, however, to what the committee’s chairman said – «it is not worth discussing the past».

Politician Dagmāra Beitnere-Le Galla said people should learn to say «thank you».

«It is entirely possible there was pressure from my party. There was so much varied work it is hard to fully comprehend. I would like to thank you for your bravery in coming here and criticizing your own work. We always feel pressure,» said Beitnere-Le Galla.

Kaimiņš reminded those present at the meeting that the selection process organize to fill the vacant jobs in NEPLP is set to conclude on 14 October. He also stressed that Ķezbere still has 67 days before she is set to leave her post. He urged her to continue performing her duties responsibly before the end of her term.

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