Address the situation in NSRF Latvian Radio and in the public media in general, the NEPLP submitted a report and proposals to the government to stabilize the situation, including financial requests to the public media, LETA informed the council.
The report includes an analysis of the current situation on Latvian Radio and develops proposals to find a solution in the short and long term. The government received provisions with more detailed information on measures to improve the efficiency of radio operations by channeling resource savings to development. Given that the issue of Latvian Radio cannot be considered separately from VSIA Latvian Television (LTV) and LSM.lv situations, as they have common problem areas, job markets, goals and challenges, the report also includes an urgent solution, which also relates to LTV development and stabilization of the situation in 2019.
Amending the Consumer Rights Protection Act of July 1, 2019, the public media has been completely prohibited from collecting advertising services from its lending partners. In turn, the amendment of the Electronic Media Act in June 2018 and the provision of the exit of the public electronic media from the commercial advertising market indirectly facilitate the transfer of the advertising industry to other platforms, explained NEPLP. This legislation has led to significant changes in the distribution of the advertising market, with direct and indirect effect in 2019. In light of the above, the Council also considers that urgent steps should be taken to ensure the provision and stabilization of the original content of the advertising. autumn 2019 season.
NEPLP from the State Budget Program Financial contingencies asks to allocate EUR 51,049 and LTV 259,223 to Latvian Radio for the purchase of studio equipment to offset the decline in operating expenses, excluding advertising for credit services, and EUR 129,046 and LTV 254,191 for Latvian Radio for content and public contract stabilization for 2019; for the last four months of this year.
To address the situation, NEPLP, in addition to the state budget for 2020, is calling for support to be allocated to offset the output of the advertising market – EUR 1.79 million for Latvian Radio and EUR 5,384,176 for LTV. and LTV 500,000, as well as support for the replacement of the software release tool (PIC) for an amount of EUR 1,604,133.
The NEPLP calls for a draft Memorandum of Understanding between NEPLP, Minister of Culture and Prime Minister on a timetable for increasing public media funding in line with Latvian environmental policy guidelines of 0.17% of GDP, in particular setting investment and development spending at 10% of last year's budget .
It has already been reported that the Latvian Association of Journalists (LDA) has called on the Saeima to demand the dismissal of NEPLP members. The Saeima is urged to include the issue of evaluating the work of NEPLP members on its agenda, LETA explained with the organization. At the same time, the organization is calling for the Saeima to immediately develop and implement a new public media management model.
The LDA considers that the current composition of NEPLP is not sufficiently competent, responsible and focused on building cooperation to solve problems in the media environment. The NEPLP is in conflict with most of the industry under review and there is no indication that the situation will be remedied.
NEPLP has lost the trust of media organizations and their employees, emphasized in a report addressed to the Saeima, adding that there are reasonable doubts about the compliance of several NEPLP members with their reputations. The LDA also emphasized that NEPLP dismissed the LTV board at the end of 2018 without sufficient justification. The application also points to other issues with NEPLP.
NEPLP member Patrick Griva told LETA that the LDA's action was nothing new because "the association constantly criticized the council's work and used every means to discredit it." "Personally, I would appreciate constructive criticism, but for now the association's claims do not suggest it," Griva believes, adding that NEPLP will continue as before, until the Saeima decides otherwise.