President Levits, EBU chief talk up importance of public service media

Latvia's state president and one of Europe's top media executives were in agreement October 2 about the importance of proper funding for public service media (PSM).

During the meeting between President Egils Levits and Noel Curran, director general of the European Broadcast Union (EBU) both parties discussed EU regulation in the audio-visual sector, the role of public media and democracy in today's global media space, as well as Latvia's position in public media regulation and current developments in this field. 

''The President stressed that high-quality public media is one of the cornerstones of democracy in Latvia and throughout Europe," said a statement issued by the Presidential press office.

On behalf of the EBU, Curran thanked Levits for his recently-expressed support for public media and its proper financing, but noted that earlier in the day he had visited national broadcaster LTV and was disappointed by LTV's "seriously outdated" equipment.

Curran also emphasized the principle of independence of the public media as one of the most important conditions for media to properly fulfill their assigned role in a democratic country.

Curran's comments re-stated views he expressed recently with the release of a report from the EBU which also underlined the importance of public service media.

"For example, where PSM is well-funded and enjoys a high market share, there is more political stability and corruption is under control... It's something we’ve always believed, but even we were surprised by the strength of the relationship between the indicators," said Curran.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is the world’s leading alliance of public service media with 116 member organizations in 56 countries. Members operate over 2,000 television, radio and online channels and services.

[Editor's note: LSM is part of Latvia's public media organization]

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