Public media ombudswoman to step down in July

Public media ombudswoman Anda Rožukalne will step down from her duties after July 7 of this year, as she has decided to work on a research project outside of Latvia, the Public Electronic Media Council (SEPLP) announced April 29. The council will hold a competition for the election of a new public media ombud.

Rožukalne was elected as Latvia's first public media ombudswoman at the end of 2021.

"Anda, as an internationally recognized media expert, has laid a solid foundation for the public media self-regulation system and set a high bar regarding the requirements for the continuation of her work. Her opinions have been very important, both in explaining the role and tasks of the public media to the public, and in forcing the media to take a critical look at themselves and maintain the highest standards of content quality," SEPLP chairman Jānis Siksnis stated in a statement to the media.

Rožukalne has reportedly obtained a prestigious research grant, which gives her the opportunity to work for several months on an important research project in the USA. Rožukalne made the decision after several months of reflection and consultations.

"Discussions involving society, critical and self-critical, complex decisions about modern media and journalistic ethics would not have been possible without the participation and trust of many colleagues of Latvian Radio, Latvian Television, LSM. It helped to create a constructive discussion about dilemmas of professional ethics in a changing, insecure environment and also in cases when the ombudsman's and the public media's point of view on ethical decisions were different," Rožukalne said in a statement on her decision.

The SEPLP promises to announce an open competition for the public media ombud vacancy in the near future.

A person with an impeccable reputation, higher education and at least five years of professional experience in the field of mass media or at least five years of academic work experience in a relevant sector can be elected as the public media ombudsman. SEPLP elects the public media ombudsman for a five-year term.

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