Latvia

Latvia

A diversity in danger

The news media landscape in Latvia is diverse, however, the diversity is decreasing. In 2019, the new owners shut down the newsroom of the oldest commercial TV channel LNT. Their decision to merge its newsroom with the newsroom of their other TV channel and lay off around 30 people has sparked criticism and concerns. Latvian Association of Journalists called it the worst media-related decision of the decade. Latvian authorities continued to pressure the Kremlin-controlled media by any available means that sometimes lacked explanation. For instance, in November 2019 nine Russian TV channels were banned because their owner is subject to EU sanctions for undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine. However, the timing of the ban was not explained. Journalists in Latvia face insults and other types of verbal abuse. Politicians are attacking and suing them quite often, especially around elections. However, most courts rule in favor of journalists. Latvia lacks political will to renew its media sector. Some of the laws needed for improvement have been stuck in Parliament for years. Latvia’s authorities often fail to appoint competent members of the media regulator National Electronic Mass Media Council and public broadcaster is extremely underfunded. These are the two main obstacles to improvement.

22
in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

+2

24 in 2019

Global score

-0.97

19.53 in 2019

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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