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Lithuania – (C1) Supervising the watchdog ‘control of the controllers’

Score in short:

Public criticism and regular public debates on media performance are found in the media; this, however, happens only on an irregular basis.

Score in detail:

Structural changes in the media and related matters are regularly reported in some news portals. Mainstream news portals have special sections dedicated to changes in the media field. These sections are often read and the content is monitored by media professionals: journalists, PR and marketing specialists. The issues covered in these sections center around the facts and figures (changes in media ownership or advertising revenues) and do not lift discussions to a more conceptual level, for example, the news does not provide analysis on what these changes mean for democracy or the quality of public discourse in general.

A unique project in the field of raising media awareness is the media literacy project that was launched at the Lithuanian schools with the aim to promote an understanding of media-related matters among very young audiences. In some cases, subjects related to the media business, such as media functions for democracy, media representations, media ethics as well as others, are taught as single subjects; also, these issues are discussed as complementary issues and serve as examples used in teaching other subjects in the class. As far as we know, this is the only project of its kind among the European countries.