“The Baltics are being buried under an avalanche of Russia’s propaganda. The goal of the information war is to turn individuals who use the aggressor’s media into tools in the hands of the aggressor. In a hybrid war, the aggressor’s media do not offer true information; instead they manipulate facts in order to create confusion, delusion and fear,” emphasised Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, on Thursday, 12 March, at the opening of the Baltic Media Seminar during her visit to Lithuania.
“In a perfect world, the media would be mentioned exclusively with the reference to freedom of expression – freedom of thought, freedom of speech – as well as in the context of the technical aspects of a free media market and ways to perfect broadcasting. However, currently media tools and operation are clearly misused,” admitted Speaker Mūrniece.
In her address, the Speaker of the Saeima referred to recent developments in media legislation in Lithuania and acknowledged that the amendments to the Public Information Law prepared by the Office of the President are truly bold, and they will help to protect the Lithuanian media environment and even its statehood. “The Latvian Presidency is closely involved with the upcoming developments in the Audiovisual Media Services Directive,” said Ināra Mūrniece. “While the Latvian media market is seeking to become stronger, a few local Latvian-language broadcasters are struggling against the disproportionate amount of broadcasting in the Russian language, which, because of the events in Ukraine, has become increasingly hostile. In this context, it is particularly important to find viable tools that should be included in the Directive.”
The Baltic Media Seminar is discussing the information war as a new challenge for democratic states and possible solutions to related problems faced by the media; it is also focusing on media regulations in the Baltic States, exchange of expertise and experience, as well as cooperation among Baltic media.
The Seminar is attended by Mārtiņš Virsis, Latvian Ambassador to Lithuania; Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, Director of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of the Vilnius University; Jānis Kažociņš, Advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Defence of Latvia; Katrin Nyman-Metcalf, independent media and telecommunications law consultant and the Head of the Chair of Law and Technology of the Tallinn Law School; as well as other experts in media and communications.
From 11 to 12 March, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, is visiting the Republic of Lithuania. On her visit, the Speaker of the Saeima is accompanied by Inese Laizāne, Chairperson of the Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee of the Saeima; Jānis Vucāns, Chairman of the Education, Culture and Science Committee of the Saeima; and Romualds Ražuks, Chairman of the group for interparliamentary relations with Lithuania.
Saeima Press Service