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Lithuania – (C7) The watchdog and the media’s mission statement

Score in short:

The watchdog mission is understood (and sometimes also implemented) as an important, but not a primary function of the contemporary news media.

Score in detail:

Although, generally, the watchdog function is mentioned as one of the most important functions of the news media, it is the aim to inform the public that dominates in the answers of all respondents in the study. As the interviewees noticed, investigations have gradually almost disappeared from TV news. These reports have found their place in political news analysis or analytic programs. newspapers are in a better situation than television: in spite of budget cuts, investigative journalism has survived in some major dailies, although the resources were significantly reduced. Indeed, in most cases, the media function is also dependent on the news media type (whether it is a newspaper, news portal, TV news program or news agency), which again shapes the professionalism criteria that are assigned to journalism. In addition to being important, news needs to be interesting – all representatives also stress the importance of finding a new frame, a new aspect, a new angle, and a new source in news presentation. In short, being different in news presentation seems to be among the most recent demands on Lithuanian journalism. In addition to reporting news that has tangible consequences for ordinary citizens (bringing news to the audience), respondents also discuss the function of the media to explain and comment on complex issues, as well as to educate.