Lithuania Political Orientation
Government Type: Semi-Presidential Republic
Head of State: President Gitanas Nausėda
Head of Government: Prime Minister Ms. Ingrida Šimonytė
Political Party: The Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats
Political Position: Right Center
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 87.90 – Mostly Free
World Press Freedom Rank: Lithuania 7/180
Reporters Without Borders ranked Lithuania 9th out of 180 countries, indicating Lithuania’s media is higher in the freedom index than France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. However, despite its freedom, RSF cautions that there is “Growing tension between journalists and government.”
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
Lithuania Media is comprised of corporately owned media outlets and state-owned TV and radio stations. Some of the major corporations that dominate media are; Sweden’s Bonnier media group (Verslo žinios – business newspaper), Estonian Ekspress Grupp (Delfi – online news portal), and MG Group, which owns commercial TV station LNK.
Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT) is a public broadcaster that operates three TV channels, radio stations, and the website, LRT.lt. According to Nieman Reports, LRT is funded by “fixed percentages of personal income and excise tax revenues.” However, commercial stations argue that this provides an unfair advantage to public broadcasters. The Radio and Television Commission Lithuania (LRTK) regulates and supervises the activities of radio and TV broadcasters, and the President appoints its members. Recently the President of Lithuania appointed Professors Laura Bielinis and Audronė Nugaraitė as new members of The Radio and Television Commission Lithuania.
According to a new law, LRTK can stop TV programs without a court decision if the broadcasted information threatens national security. For example, (LRTK) banned Russian TV channels NTV Mir, RTR Planeta, Rossiya 24, PBK, TVCI, and Belarusian Belarus 24. Further, Libel/Slender laws “make insulting or defaming the president of the country in mass media a crime punishable by a fine.” For more, see the LITHUANIA 2021 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT.
In conclusion, the Lithuanian government has indirect control over media outlets, especially public broadcasters influenced by the political parties and the President’s appointed members.
Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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