Levits: Funding problem in public media is easiest to solve

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There are three main problems in public media, and the problem with funding is the easiest to solve, said Latvian President Egils Levits appearing on LTV July 18.

"The [matter of funding] is the easiest matter to solve," he said and opined that the legal framework of public media is a much more complex problem.

Levits said that a logical solution should be found for the legal framework over the way public media work. "It's of utmost importance," he said, adding that every citizen should be insured with a "sufficient" informative space so that they could take decisions over events in Latvia and participate in public life. 

"It's a matter of democracy and of the Article 1 of the Constitution," he said. 

Levits said that he is also to venture suggestions to politicians and the public over what form this legal framework should take. 

Meanwhile the third problem, according to Levits, is "more on an emotional and personal level", in that it's difficult to find common ground in the heightened atmosphere of Latvian Radio. 

As reported, the board and newsroom at Latvian Radio are in open conflict, and the two parties are to lead talks with the help of a mediator. 

On July 15 the board of Latvian Radio published an open letter addressed to high-ranking state officials, asking for wage funding to be boosted by €100,000 this year and nearly €1m the next to prevent newsroom standards from falling.

This followed an earlier open letter released by the news staff, which called the board to step down and described the situation in the newsroom as critical due to the repeated departure of journalists to other jobs as a result of low pay and overwork.

Latvian Radio is part of the same LSM public media organization as LSM English.

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