Media watchdog fines PBK television for pro-Kremlin bias

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The National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) has fined the Russian-language television channel Pirmais Baltijas kanals (PBK) for violations on their coverage of the Ukraine conflict, LETA reported Thursday.

NEPLP spokeswoman Agnese Berga said, after examining video recording of the television channel's broadcasts between February 16 to 22 of this year, that it was determined that the channel was broadcasting one-sided and biased information about the conflict and events taking place in Ukraine.

The NEPLP has concluded that the broadcasts were not in accordance with Electronic Mass Media Law, which stipulates that media broadcasts must be honest and objective, and in accordance with ethical journalistic principles.

Taking into account that the channel has repeatedly violated the Electronic Mass Media Law, NEPLP has fined PBK €10,000 for the violations.

It is not the first time the NEPLP has acted against a Russian-language channel for reporting bias. Previously the broadcast of Rossiya RTR was banned for three months for the same reason. Other than that, Latvian Radio was fined €8,000 for swearing on broadcast.

As well as acting as broadcast watchdog with the power to take action if illegal or inappropriate material is broadcast, NEPLP is also in overall charge of the funding of public broadcasting in Latvia, including the LSM news portals in Latvian, Russian and English.

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