Czech TV warns over Slovakia's plan to control public broadcaster

Creative Centre of the Slovak public broadcaster RTVS
Creative Centre of the Slovak public broadcaster RTVS. Photo: RTVS

Czech Television (CT) has expressed alarm over provisions in a draft Slovak law that would significantly restructure the country's public broadcaster, RTVS, potentially undermining its independence.

According to CT's spokesperson Vendula Krejčová, the bill to establish a new Slovak Television and Radio (STaR) would "markedly shift the Slovak public media towards the character of a state media outlet."

Of particular concern are sections that appear to contradict the European Media Freedom Act aimed at safeguarding editorial independence from political interference across the EU.

CT highlights that the new STaR council seems conceived more as an administrative authority with some members directly appointed by the government. "It is unclear why another administrative body with powers extending into programming is being created based on a political formula," the statement reads.

Among the most contentious provisions is an allowance for the dismissal of STaR's director general without any stated reason. "Czech Television considers this highly objectionable," Krejčová notes.

While avoiding direct involvement in Slovakia's affairs, CT emphasizes that the current RTVS is a respected European Broadcasting Union member and trusted Slovak news source.

"Radical changes do no good, especially in difficult times," Krejčová states, adding CT will closely monitor the draft law's progress along with other European broadcasters.

Earlier, the Czech Radio chief had also voiced concern over the Slovak legislation's threat to media freedom.

Read more: Czech Radio concerned over changes to Slovakia's public broadcaster

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