Joint request to all Members of Parliament of the Czech Republic to Preserve Freedom and Independence of Public Service TV

11 March 2020

All Members of Parliament of the Czech Republic

Today, you as Members of Parliament are going to elect six new Council members of Czech TV (Česká televize) out of a total of 15 members. Your decision will have a direct impact on the maintenance of independence of public service TV in the Czech Republic, which is already under pressure. Therefore we, the undersigned organisations, call on the Members of Parliament to take today’s elections very seriously. Independent and impartial media are an important pillar of democracy and an important source for
trustworthy information. Your decision is fundamental in preserving the freedom andindependence of public broadcasting.

We ask you to choose from the 18 candidates independently from any political interference or attempts to exert influence. The Council’s composition needs to be balanced and impartial. Revealed attempts by the head of the election committee for or against specific candidates must not affect this important decision. We consider such efforts as dangerous for maintaining international standards and the independence of public service broadcasting as well as freedom of speech in the Czech Republic.

Otevřený dopis všem poslancům Parlamentu České republiky

Dnes jakožto poslanci parlamentu zvolíte šest nových členů Rady České televize z celkového počtu 15. Vaše rozhodnutí bude mít přímý dopad na zachování nezávislosti veřejnoprávní televize v České republice, která je již pod tlakem. Nezávislá a nestranná média jsou důležitým pilířem demokracie a významným zdrojem důvěryhodných informací. Proto my, níže podepsané organizace, vás vyzýváme, abyste k dnešní volbě přistoupili s velkou vážností, zodpovědně a s cílem zachovat svobodu a nezávislost veřejnoprávní televize.

Žádáme vás, abyste zvolili z 18 kandidátů nezávisle na jakémkoli politickém zásahu nebo pokusech o ovlivnění. Složení Rady musí být vyvážené a nestranné. Lobbistické pokusy ve prospěch nebo proti konkrétním kandidátům nesmí toto důležité rozhodnutí ovlivnit.
Takové snahy považujeme za nebezpečné pro udržení mezinárodních standardů a nezávislosti veřejnoprávního vysílání a svobodu projevu v České republice.


Yours sincerely,

Lutz Kinkel, Managing Director, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)
Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, President, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

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