LTV asks state bodies not to interfere with EP election content

On May 13, the State Language Center (VVC) said in a public statement that it does not support the intention of the Public Electronic Mass Media Council (SEPLP) to hold a session of the European Parliament pre-election debates on public television in Russian.

A number of politicians have publicly pressed for the cancellation of the debates on the minority multimedia platform as part of their election campaigns. Latvian Television considers these activities to be targeted attempts to influence not only editorial decisions but also to undermine public confidence in the public service media, LTV said in a  statement.

"It is unacceptable that content produced for minorities in the run-up to the elections makes the public service media a traitor to the state. Latvian Television in its activities respects the norms established in the Constitution and other legal acts and carries out the tasks entrusted to the public service media to the best intentions," the statement reads.

Latvian Television completely disagrees that the pre-election debates produced by the minority multimedia platform imply the unmotivated use of a foreign language. LTV produces content in accordance with the public order approved by SEPLP, which stipulates that the two most important content directions of the minority multimedia platform in 2024 are to cover events of national and international importance for Latvia's minorities, as well as to cover the European Parliament elections, reporting on their impact on Latvia.

"At this time, when a full-scale war in Ukraine is being perpetrated by Russia and Latvia is facing threats of hybrid warfare, it is particularly important to provide objective, reliable and high-quality content on the European Parliament elections to various groups of society," explains LTV.

Also the election-themed sections of the LSM public media portal, including the interactive tools "Candidate Sorting" and the European "Party Sorting", are available not only in Latvian, but also in Russian and English.

"The claim of the NEC that the Russian language pre-election debate "seeks to give a special place and importance to the use and status of the Russian language in Latvia" is absurd. The aim of Latvian Television in presenting the content of a nationally significant event - the European Parliament elections - in different languages is to promote accessibility and civic participation, helping the Latvian people to make an informed choice in the elections," the LTV statement reads.

Information on the extensive LTV and LSM European Parliament election program is available here (in Latvian).

Latvian Television has appealed to the Ministry of Justice for clarification of the VVC statement, as it considers it an attempt to influence the editorial decisions of the public service media.

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