European broadcasters concerned over Lithuanian public media being investigated by MPs
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has expressed its concern of the Lithuanian LRT public broadcaster, a member of the union, as it is being investigated by the Seimas in a letter to the Lithuanian head of state.
According to information published on the Swiss-based EBU’s website, the EBU has in a letter sent on Tuesday, March 13, to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė pointed to an investigative committee of the Seimas established to look at the management, financial and economic activities of LRT, which, the EBU wrote, shows political pressure increasing on LRT.
«Having a political body conduct a detailed and comprehensive assessment of the financial and economic operations of LRT creates a high risk that the assessment would be political rather than professional. (..) A political assessment of the financial and economic operations of LRT would de facto interfere in the institutional autonomy and editorial independence of LRT, in breach of European standards. »
Reportedly, the probe was launched by the lawmakers of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union in mid-January and has been described by Žygintas Pečiulis, chairman of the LRT Council, as a welcome, but a clearly political move.