Euro­pean broad­cast­ers con­cerned over Lithua­nian pub­lic me­dia be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by MPs

Baltic News Network - - News -

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.

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