Ann Cooper (CBS Professor Emerita of Professional Practice in International Journalism) published a piece in NiemanReports on the clash between public and commercial media in Lithuania. Public funding of broadcasting is a cherished cornerstone of European democracies. In Lithuania, commercial stations argue state-financed budgets give the country’s public broadcaster an unfair advantage.
Another takeaway from Cooper’s article is that “the 30th anniversary of the Soviet army attack [on Lithuania’s pro-independence movement] was widely commemorated on January 13, with videos, slide shows, and ‘I remember’ features published throughout the public and private media that today serve Lithuania’s 2.8 million people. The independent accountability reporting they provide is a little-noticed post-Cold War success, enabled by a press freedom climate ranked higher than the U.K., France, or the U.S. The Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index puts Lithuania 28th out of 180 countries; of the 15 former Soviet republics, only fellow Baltic states Estonia and Latvia rate higher.”