Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy Generator

Lithuania – (E10) Rules and practices on internal pluralism

Score in short:

No written rules exist and most of the newsrooms have their own non-interference norms and practices; research studies, however, show that the mainstream media are susceptible to external pressures, and with the media crisis this has worsened.

Score in detail:

Representatives of all news media confirm that rules of internal news management do not exist in a written form; according to most respondents, this field (newsroom management) is characterized by spontaneity. In most newsrooms, journalists and editors work in a consultancy regime and often discuss issues that are unclear or require difficult decisions. The manner in which these discussions are organized varies in different news organizations: some of the news media organize regular editorial meetings (Lietuvos rytas), in other cases new technologies are applied such as email, telephone or Skype conferences (15 min, LTV). officially, none of the media in Lithuania is associated with a particular party. one of the reasons for this is that media law enacted in 1996, which even then had a chapter restricting party ownership of media. The absence of clearly defined ideological lines in the mass media – absence of “party-press parallelism”11 – is therefore a direct outcome of media regulation. But the absence of stable ideological alignments does not imply that the media have no connections with political and economic interests. Although both editors in chief interviewed in the study claimed that their newsrooms (Lietuvos rytas and BnS) do not support political or business interests, or pay attention to who advertises in the media, research studies still reveal that most mainstream media do not comply with the principles of objectivity and neutrality (Jastramskis 2009). As discussed earlier, today’s politics in Lithuania is shaped by power fights between different interest groups, where clientelistic (or particularistic) interests guide choices, rather than ideological conceptions of the public interest. Mainstream media play an active role in these power games, and with the media crisis this situation has even worsened.