On 29 October 2014 the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania (LRTK) organizes the international conference Television and Radio: Current Challenges. The purpose of the Conference is to encourage cooperation among different authorities and countries, to share the opinions, experiences and insights as well as to look for the methods of prevention of the possible propaganda of a foreign country within the sector of electronic media. The Conference shall be attended by the regulators of the audiovisual industry, the experts of law and media from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Ukraine.
One of the functions of the LRTK is to contribute to the development of the state audiovisual policy. Therefore, the LRTK focuses on the monitoring and analysis of the radio and television broadcasts, and, based on the collected data, gives suggestions to the society and politicians on how to improve the current situation and what additional means are necessary in order to protect the information environment.
Other very important aspects of the activities are implementation of the programme of the development of the information society and information literacy; digitization of the content and its responsible use; improvement of the media and promotion of diversity. These issues are especially relevant at the present time because since 2012 all television in Lithuania has been transferred to the digital format, the online media mostly prefers video broadcasting, and the traditional press is moving to the virtual environment. The abovementioned situation gives rise to a number of challenges of the legal regulation of the sector: language, cultural and content diversity; restriction and prohibition of the forbidden content; practical application of different legal norms available in various countries; manipulations in the public environment; use of media for narrow geopolitical interests; dissemination of war propaganda; incitement of strife; etc.
The main legal acts, which regulate the electronic media in Lithuania, are the Republic of Lithuania Law on Provision of Information to the Public and the following international legislation: Directive of the European Commission on Audiovisual Media Services and Convention of the Council of Europe on Transfrontier Television. However, the rapid development of technologies and the actual situation show that this is not sufficient. It needs to be admitted that some provisions of the laws are not clear or comprehensive and provide grounds for various interpretations.
The forbidden information can reach us through the TV channels of third countries retransmitted via the cable network, satellite and online television.
It should be noted that new legal entities emerge from time to time, which are established in other Member States of the European Union and provide paid services of satellite and online television to the residents of the Republic of Lithuania without having any license necessary for such activities, which disseminate the information that is forbidden under the laws of the Republic of Lithuania and fail to comply with the resolutions of the Commission.
The present days are very complicated. The acts performed by Russia in Ukraine and the frequent occasions when Russian TV channels disseminate the information forbidden by the laws show that Russia uses the media, in particular, radio and television, as a very powerful tool in order to achieve its goals.
LRTK’s purpose is to ensure that this informational tool causes as little damage to the society of Lithuania as possible.