Latviski English По-русски
Saturday 20.04.2019 | Name days: Mirta, Ziedīte

Opinion: Latvian National Media Council’s inability to justify Giels’ approval is a reason to worry

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe lack of arguments from the National Electronic Mass Media and LTV board chairman Einārs Giels’ lack of experience working in the media sector, which can be surmised from his public statements, are incredibly worrying signals that the decision was not made in the interest of the future development of national television company, says LTV board member Ivars Priede.

On 3 April, National Electronic Mass Media Council chairperson Dace Ķezbere met with LTV senior and middle management and editors. Priede says during the conversation she was not able to put to rest doubts about Giels.

Workers said after looking through Giels’ CV, they found no mention of professional qualifications the media council requested from candidates in the personnel selection process. When told about this, the head of the national media council said: «You speaking just like Unity right now».

Priede believes communication of this kind and «mention of political sympathies in a time when the second most important decision made by the media council is not explained appropriately to neither LTV workers or society, does not  contribute to mutual trust».

During the discussion Ķezbere tried convincing LTV workers that this would be the best possible option and asked fiving Giels 100 days to work and then evaluate the quality of his work.

«LTV is not just equipment and budget. LTV is, primarily, a team. In spite of budget shortage and technological gap, LTV was the most watched television channel in Latvia last year, and this is an accomplishment of the team,» said Priede.

«We constantly have to be on watch for obvious attempts to weaken LTV’s position. It seems to me LTV is under attack – politicians mention in discussions generalizations that undermine independence of journalism like ‘positive news’, National Electronic Mass Media Council general attitude, and the new board chairman’s public statements all create serious questions.»

Priede also stresses that public media has no way of seeking defence without causing suspicion and receiving criticisms over third party interests.

It should be said that on 2 April, at the end of LTV programme 1:1 its host Gundars Rēders loudly voiced his opinion about the changes in LTV’s board. In response, Giels said he will most definitely discuss this with the journalist once he has been approved in his new post. The new head of LTV said the journalist had breached ethic norms.

«The moment people doubt the professionalism of LTV News Service, when not only professionals of other media but also LTV employees are oblivious of decisions made by the council and some employees openly voice plans to leave in response to the possible dismissal of Gundars Rēders, such things should be discussed openly,» says Priede.

The question asked during an interview to Latvijas Radio about Giels’ cooperation with his new team that does not trust him, is very topical, considering his public statements have not helped quell doubts, says Priede.

«It will be possible to work together if we trust one another and rely on common values and shared vision about the development of LTV,» says Priede. «It is clear the primary objective of the new board will be earning the trust of all teams. We can always discuss past mistakes. But now is the time to think about the future, where employees are the only guarantee and serve public interests,» says Priede.

Giels said his first task will be internal audit within LTV to better understand optimize funding and invest more in technological development. Giels has no plans to step down. He believes he is fully prepared for his duties.

During an interview to TV24 journalist Imanta Frederiks Ozols, Giels demonstrated he has no real grasp what his new job entails.

Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs has said that «under conditions of a hybrid war, any unreasonable and poorly justified decision that makes people question trust in public media and their supervisors should be viewed from a perspective of security.»

Last week, Latvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council decided to approve Einārs Giels, who is a marketing data analyst for Latvian pharmaceutical manufacturer Olainfarm, as the new chairman for LTV. The council also approved CEO of XXVI Latvian Song and XVI Dance Celebration Eva Juhņēviča as LTV board member for digital development and content affairs. Neither of them has any experience working in the media sector.

Latvian Journalists Association has asked National Electronic Mass Media Council to cancel the decision regarding the approval of new board members in LTV and organize a repeated personnel selection process. The association believes the board members picked by the council do not meet requirements of such high posts. «The chosen board chairman has no tangible management experience and the board member responsible for content development does not have any kind of experience working in media, which is something that was deemed as vitally important for potential applicants,» says the association.

Leave a reply

Every day hens in Latvia produce an egg for every resident

The number of laying hens in Latvia, when compared to 2017, had increased 19.2% in 2018, reaching 3 million, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. Compared to the previous year, the total number of domestic birds has increased 9.3%, reaching 5.4 million, which is the largest index since 1992.

73% of residents believe they benefit from Latvia’s membership in EU

Approximately 73% of residents believe Latvia benefits from membership in the European Union. Interviewed residents mainly outline job opportunities, economic growth and security, according to the latest data compiled by Eurobarometer.

General government budget deficit in Latvia reached EUR 295.4 million last year

In 2018 general government budget deficit accounted for EUR 295.4 million or 1 % of the Gross Domestic Product and general government consolidated gross debt amounted to EUR 10.6 billion or 35.9 % of the GDP.

Egils Levits optimistic about his chances becoming Latvia’s president

Presidential candidate and European Court of Justice Judge Egils Levits is optimistic about his chances of becoming Latvia’s next president.

Estonia’s government to be formed by standing Prime Minister Jüri Ratas

On Thursday, 17 April, Estonia’s parliament entrusted formation of the country’s government to Centre Party’s chairman and standing Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.

At least 29 die as German tourist bus runs off road in Portugal

At least 29 people were killed and 27 were injured when a German tourist bus ran off the road on Madeira Island in Portugal, as reported by BBC.

EY: businessmen show very positive outlook towards global economy

The latest Ernst&Young EY Global Capital Confidence Barometer reveals a generally optimistic outlook businessmen have around the world – 93% of interviewed company CEOs believe the economic situation in the world is steadily improving. The same opinion was voiced by 73% of interviewed CEOs last year.

Orkla Latvija signs contract for construction of Laima manufacturing plant in Ādaži

On Wednesday, 17 April, Orkla Latvia signed a contract worth EUR 8.9 million with construction company Merks on the construction of a Laima manufacturing plant in Ādaži, BNN was told by Orkla Latvija representative Lineta Mikša.

As police arrive, Peru’s ex-president commits suicide

Ex-president of Peru Alan García committed suicide on Wednesday, 17 April, when police arrived to arrest him for corruption.

Estonia’s president to meet with Putin; the two will discuss Baltic security

On Thursday, 18 April, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will meet with Estonia’s President Kersti Kaljulaid, as reported by Estonian public media ERR.

Europe’s borders to be reinforced – a specialist corps to be formed by 2027

On Wednesday, 17 April, the European Parliament approved a new law to strengthen Europe’s border and coast guard, as reported by EP representative in Latvia Signe Znotiņa-Znota.

Latvian residents engage in marriages more often than before

Over the past three years the number of registered marriages has risen slightly. In 2018, 13.4 thousand marriages were registered, which is 200 marriages more than in 2017 when the increase recorded over the year constituted 148 marriages.

Ventspils City Council fever. Symptoms, treatment and preventive measures

Ventspils City Council fever. Symptoms, treatment and preventive measures

Turnover of Fazer Latvija reached EUR 25.36 million in 2018

The turnover of Fazer Latvija reached EUR 25.36 million in 2018. The company has also increased its bread market share to 20.9%, as reported by the company.

Saeima lawyers: media council failed to comply with law when composing LTV board

When organizing LTV board selection process, Latvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council failed to comply with requirements of the law, as concluded by Saeima’s Legal Affairs Office, stressing that dismissal of council members requires serious and legally backed reasons, LTV programme Panorāma reported on Tuesday, 16 April.

President Macron wants to restore Notre Dame Cathedral in five years

France’s President Emmanuel Macron says Notre Dame Cathedral will become ‘even more beautiful’ after renovation, and wants restoration work to be finished in five years, BBC reports.

Riga City Council asked to explain why they think Deglava Bridge is safe to use

Riga City Council has to immediately provide detailed explanations to the State Construction Control Bureau why Deglava Brige is still open for public use. The city council is also asked to provide justified reasons for limiting the mass of vehicles. This request was submitted by Latvia’s Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro.

Estonia’s president entrusts government’s formation to Ratas

Estonia’s President Kersti Kaljulaid decided on Tuesday, 16 April, to entrust formation of the country’s new government to Centre Party representative Jüri Ratas, as reported by public media ERR.

Egils Levits could secure at least 55 votes in presidential elections

If Saeima deputies vote as the have promised, European Union Court of Justice Judge Egils Levits could secure at least 55 votes in presidential elections.

Whistle-blowers to receive protection across all of Europe

From now on EU legislation will offer protection to people reporting information regarding illegalities and general criminal activities, as decided by European Parliament on Tuesday, 16 April.

Municipality in Estonia wants a nuclear reactor

Viru-Nigula municipality in Estonia is interested in becoming the home for the nuclear reactor Frmi Energia is planning to build in the country, as reported by Estonian public media ERR.

OECD: Latvia’s labour market policy has a positive effect on the unemployed

The measures employed by Latvia’s labour market policy have positive influence on opportunities of the unemployed. However, there is also more need for support of people at risk of social exclusion, as concluded in the study performed by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development «Connecting People with Jobs: Latvia».

Latvia's Prime Minister: government’s action plan may be clarified in time due to shortage of funds

Because of the shortage of funds, the government plan may be clarified after some time, said Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš during a meeting of the National Council for Trilateral Cooperation on Tuesday, 16 April.

Supreme Court proposes attorney system to improve situation with cassation complaints

The Senate is interested in quality cassation complaints. This is why it may be prudent to consider adopting a Supreme Court Attorneys System, says the Senate’s Civil Cases Department chairman Aigars Strupišs.

Number of passengers carried by airBaltic in Q1 2019 up 12%

During the first three months of 2019, Latvian airline airBaltic has transported 818,129 passengers or 12% more than last year, according to representatives of the airline.

Newest comments