OSCE Representative: respect media regulator's independence in Latvia

Today the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, called for the respect of the media regulator’s independence in Latvia. Previously, the Latvian Journalists' Association appealed to the OSCE, voicing concerns over politicians trying to influence the media by sacking the leadership of the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEMMC).

“Any decision not based on the law governing the work of the independent regulator can be seen as interference with their decision-making process,” Mijatović said.

In a letter on 15 June, eleven Members of the Saeima, including representatives from the governing coalition parties, asked the Saeima to dismiss four members of the National Electronic Mass Media Council. They argued that the Council members are no longer suitable to hold their positions because of the alleged “loss of their good reputation.”

“I urge the members of the Latvian Parliament to carefully examine this proposal as the independence of national media regulators is a basic pre-condition for preserving and facilitating free media and free expression,” Mijatović said.

Yesterday, the Latvian Journalists' Association called for a systematic evaluation of the work of the National Electronic Mass Media Council. 

The LJA argued for creating a public commission for this task and offered to send its own representative to participate. 

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