Media ethics body criticizes penalty over word misuse

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The Latvian Media Ethics Council said in a statement on May 24 that the decision of the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) to fine the Tvnet.lv portal for alleged misuse of the word 'deportation' is "disproportionate, undemocratic and bureaucratic".

As reported by LSM, on Tuesday, the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) decided to impose an administrative penalty of €8,500 on the Internet news portal tvnet.lv for “failing to respect due precision and neutrality” by not changing the course of the conversation or explaining the topic to the audience when the word 'deportation' was mentioned by the interviewee, Saeima opposition deputy Aleksejs Rosļikovs (For Stability!).

The Council stressed that it advocates the freedom and pluralism of the media in order to ensure the diversity of the media environment and, at the same time, to promote responsible and professional practices for obtaining, storing, processing, and disseminating information.

The Council said that the members of its board will discuss this case at a forthcoming meeting and will, if necessary, turn to other institutions to categorically oppose practices that unduly restrict media freedom and pluralism.

The Latvian Journalists' Association has also asked NEPLP to withdraw its decision "without waiting until the court does so."

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