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Lithuania – (F3) Diversity of news sources

Score in short:

News media use diverse sources; however, none of the mainstream news media have a bureau in a foreign country: for international news reporting, news media rely on Internet-based sources or international news agency material. Citizen journalism is popular in news portals.

Score in detail:

Leading news organizations subscribe to a variety of news sources. The two national news agencies (BnS and ELTA) are the leaders in the domestic news market, however, only a few news organizations subscribe to both agencies. normally, only international news and sports news are published directly from news agency material, in all other cases this material is used only as a source (as a guideline to what is important). For some newspapers, originally produced journalistic content amounts to 80 % (in the news portal of the same company the original journalistic content amounts to around 30 %) (Lietuvos rytas and other popular news sources for media are international news agencies (Reuters, Associated Press, Associated Press TV news, AFP), EBU material, international news photo suppliers (Scanpix Baltics) and others. For some news media, an important source of news is press releases. According to our respondents, among the most significant news suppliers for journalists are networks of their own sources delivering political, economic, cultural, or sports news. In addition to relying on news agency material, PR news and other information providers (social media), the readers supplying Internet portals with user-generated content are also considered to be important proof of what is new and interesting to ordinary people. A number of leading news portals (, have developed fairly successful citizen journalism projects that have grown into media supported newsrooms with a few dozen amateur citizen reporters and local editors (,

Leading news media organizations employ foreign correspondents, but these correspondents mainly work part time or on a freelance basis. Lithuanian radio (LR1) has the biggest network of foreign correspondents regularly reporting from different countries around the world. “Big” national dailies (Lietuvos rytas) also have correspondents regularly reporting from European capitals. However, none of these news media has a foreign news bureau in a foreign country. The main reason for this is economic limitations. Having a foreign bureau is considered to be too expensive (and by some media not really necessary as news is available through Internet sources). The networks of foreign correspondents of those media that have them are organized rather loosely: journalists residing in foreign countries mainly work on honorariums (as freelancers). Public service radio and television (the LRT) used to be the only media group the had a bureau in Brussels with two staff members based in Brussels and regularly reporting from neighboring European capitals (Paris, London, Amsterdam). However, due to severe financial cuts in the LRT budget in the summer of 2009, the Bureau in Brussels was closed7.