EBU Members from Ukraine, Lithuania and Slovenia have been discussing the challenges facing public service media (PSM) at a hearing organized by the EBU and the Parlimentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media.
The discussion, chaired by former EBU Vice President Boris Bergant, focused on the role of PSM in providing high quality, verified content which addresses all sections of society, including minorities.
The Secretary of the Supervisory Board of Ukrainian Member UA:PBC, Vadym Miskyi, presented the efforts they are undertaking to maximize resources and increase efficiency, but underlined the insufficient funding allocated by the government challenging the sustainability the broadcaster.
A report on the system of financing for UA:PBC in line with CoE standards was also presented at a separate meeting.
Monika Garbaciauskaite–Budriene, director general of LRT, highlighted political pressure in Lithuania and the challenges of preserving institutional and editorial independence.
Monika told the hearing that LRT is advocating for a broad public discussion about proposed changes to Lithuania’s media law which will impact PSM in the country.
RTVSLO’s Marko Filli, a former member of the EBU’s Executive Board, focused on the need to invest in upgrading technology in line with rapid changes across the media industry, as well as the importance for PSM to offer high quality content that serves all citizens, including minorities.
Experts from the Council of Europe and Members of national Parliaments also attended the hearing which acknowledged the 25 years of transformation of the state broadcasters in Central and Eastern Europe into genuine public service broadcasters and the difficulties and setbacks involved in this process.
Lord Foulkes, General Rapporteur on media freedom and safety of journalists on the PACE on Culture, Science, Education and Media underlined the need for professional and credible PSM in the time of information disorder and threats to security and democracy in Europe.
Members of Parliament raised questions regarding increasing threats to PSM not only in Eastern countries, but also in Western European countries.
Participants in the hearing also discussed the future of PSM and tools to support professional and independent PSM in Europe, such as the ECHR judgments, reports on freedom of expression, the platform of CoE and cooperation between international organizations.
Two reports, which the EBU and its Members contributed to, have also been approved by PACE and transformed in resolutions adopted unanimously by the Parliamentary assembly in its plenary session.
The first concerns the role of PSM in the fight against misinformation and fake news, signed by the Finnish MP Honkonen assisted by Minna Aslama Horowitz, formerly of YLE.
The second report looks at Internet Governance and the work to establish a common European position about internet rules on a global level.