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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 19.06.2024, 23:23

PBK TV channel appeals EUR 10,000 fine imposed by Latvia's broadcasting watchdog

BC, Riga, 23.02.2016.Print version
Russian-language TV channel Pervyi Baltiiski Kanal (First Baltic Channel, PBK) has appealed the decision of the Latvian broadcasting watchdog, the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP), on a EUR 10,000 fine for one-sided reporting on the Ukraine conflict, Gunta Krivma, a representative of PBK owner, Baltijas Mediju Alianse holding, told LETA.

Krivma said that the watchdog's decision has been appealed at the Administrative District Court and the case has been launched.


The National Electronic Mass Media Council in October 2015 imposed a EUR 10,000 fine on PBK for one-sided reporting on the Ukraine conflict. The violations were recorded in PBK programs broadcasted between February 16 and February 22, 2015.


In its February 16 news report on hostilities in Ukraine's eastern region of Donbas, for instance, PBK shows representatives of the so called People's Republic of Donetsk accusing the Ukrainian government (which they call 'junta') of breaching the ceasefire agreement, while never giving representatives of the Ukrainian government an opportunity to express their opinion.


On February 17, PBK aired a report on its Vremya (Time) news program about May 2, 2014 events in Ukraine's port city Odessa, describing them as a "mass murder of Maidan opponents", which had allegedly been "meticulously planned" by supporters of the Ukrainian government. This interpretation of the tragic events was presented as proven facts without including other viewpoints. Authors of the news report alleged that the Ukrainian authorities were not interested in finding out the truth about the events in Odessa, the watchdog said.


Similar violation have also been found in other PBK programs broadcasted from February 16-22 with reports on the conflict in eastern Ukraine never including Ukraine's standpoint. The National Electronic Mass Media Council concluded that the above programs failed to comply with the Latvian electronic media law under which media coverages of facts and events are expected to be honest, impartial and promoting exchange of various opinions, as well as in line with journalist ethics.


The Latvian media watchdog found that the inspected TV programs did not ensure diversity of opinions and presented a one-sided interpretation of controversial events, either not giving an alternative opinion or presenting it in a negative manner. The PBK programs also failed to separate news from opinions and in several cases also to indicate a source, NEPLP said.

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