The new law on public media management came into force at the beginning of this year, but so far it has not been possible to set up the SEPLP with its three members, one of whom will be nominated by the Saeima, one by the President and another by non-governmental organizations via the Cabinet of Ministers.
The Cabinet of Ministers and non-governmental organizations have nominated Jānis Siksnis, the project director of the Baltic Media Center of Excellence who previously worked in various positions at Latvian Radio, while the Saeima deputies nominated Jānis Eglītis, who is currently a board member of the separate National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP), which is Latvia's main mass media watchdog.
The SEPLP in contrast will be concerned purely with public service media (which includes LTV, Latvian Radio and the LSM news portals including the one you are now reading).
"The overall strategic goal of the [SEPLP] is to strengthen Latvia's democratic system, freedom of speech and the Latvian people's sense that they belong to Latvia, to cultivate the Latvian language and national culture in accordance with the Constitution, this Law and other laws," says the relevant legislation.
"Pursuant to Section 13, Paragraph one, Clause 1 of the Law on Public Electronic Media and its Management, the President nominates Sanita Uple-Jegerman for approval as a member of the National Electronic Media Council," said a statement from the Presidential Chancellery.
Levits, in justifying his choice of his candidate, said: “Sanita Upleja-Jegermane has long experience in journalism, representing high professional quality and ethical standards in her work. Sanita Upleja-Jegermane has both a national and an international perspective on media policy issues. Her opinion articles have confirmed a good understanding of the values enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia. I believe that she will be able to perform the duties of a member of the National Electronic Mass Media Council qualitatively and will make a significant contribution to the development of public media."
Sanita Upleja-Jegermane has worked in journalism in various positions and media since 1993 including work as a freelance journalist for the weekly magazine "Ir", the newspaper "Diena" and internet portals mansmedijs.lv and politika.lv.
The candidate has also been a member of the Latvian Journalists Association since 2010 and during her career has lived and worked in Russia, Estonia, Denmark and Sweden.