Global Task Force om hotet mot tjeckisk tv
Hanna Stjärne, vd för SVT, skriver tillsammans med sju andra public service-vd:ar om hotet mot tjeckisk tv (Česká Televize).
The Threat Facing Czech TV (Česká Televize)
April 9, 2021
The Global Task Force for public media (GTF) is gravely concerned by recent developments in the Czech Republic which risk undermining the independence of Czech TV (Česká Televize, CT) and its vital role in the country’s democracy.
Now more than ever, there is a need for strong, independent, public service media that citizens can trust. This is at risk in the Czech Republic. This risk comes at a time when the country is heading into a parliamentary election later this year and, like all countries, facing the challenges of COVID-19.
Recent actions by the government of the Czech Republic have the effect of politicizing the Council of Czech TV, the group of people which appoints the director general and approves the budget. In November 2020, the Council fired the entire Supervisory Board and there has been ongoing pressure to dismiss Czech TV Director General, Petr Dvořák.
The Ethical Journalism Network investigated the challenges facing the media in the Czech Republic and concluded, in a report released in February, that “the ownership of the most influential news outlets by a handful of billionaire tycoons and politicians including the prime minister has had a chilling effect on journalism in the country”.
The undermining of independent journalism in Eastern Europe was recently highlighted by the European Union Executive, which has accused Poland, Hungary and Slovenia of undermining media freedoms amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Global Task Force for public media has previously expressed concern about this trend in Eastern Europe and around the world.
Along with the European Broadcast Union (EBU) as well as the Media Freedom Rapid Response and the Public Media Alliance, we are speaking out as a group of public service media leaders, to show our strong support for the values that are at the core of public service media: access, accuracy, accountability, creativity, impartiality, independence and high standards of journalism. All these underpin an informed and healthy democracy.
We urge Czech leaders across media, business and culture to speak out in support of independent media. We also ask that the governments of the Media Freedom Coalition consider the developments in the Czech Republic in the light of the Coalition’s communique in November 2020 which declared: “[...] a free media is the cornerstone of democracy. People need free and independent media to provide them with accurate information, facilitate informed public debate and discussion, hold governments accountable, and serve as a watchdog for the public interest.”
Signed, Global Task Force for public media
David Andersson, Managing Director, ABC, Australia
Thomas Bellut, Director General, ZDF, Germany
Tim Davie, Director General, BBC, United Kingdom
Delphine Ernotte Cunci, President & CEO, France Televisions, France
Jim Mather, Chair of the Board, RNZ, New Zealand
Hanna Stjärne, Director General, SVT, Sweden
Catherine Tait, President & CEO, CBC/Radio Canada, GTF Chair, Canada
Yang Sung-dong, President & CEO, KBS, South Korea
About the Global Task Force
The Global Task Force exists to promote and defend the values of public media—access, accuracy, accountability, creativity, impartiality, independence and high standards of journalism—all of which underpin an informed and healthy democracy.
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