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Lithuania/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.6 Media pluralism and content diversity

Lithuanian National Radio and Television (Lietuvos Nacionalinis Radijas ir Televizija; LRT) is a non-profit public broadcasting company. LRT operates two national television channels (LTV, LTV2) and broadcasts three national public radio channels: Lietuvos radijas (LR), programmes Klasika (Classics) and Opus 3 (started in 2006 and designed for young people). Classics and Opusbroadcast culture, art and educational programmes. All national radio stations are available via the internet. In 2003, the LTV2 (second programme) was launched and is dedicated to the broadcasting of cultural, educational, regional, and information programmes.

The Lithuanian Radio and Television Council oversees the operations of LRT according to the Law on Provision of Information to the Public and the Law on Lithuanian Radio and Television (1996). The Council is the supreme management institution of LRT and is comprised of 12 members nominated for 6 years by the President of Lithuania, the Seimas, Lithuanian Science Council, Lithuanian Education Council, Lithuanian Art Creators' Association, and the Lithuanian Conference of Diocesans. The Council forms the state's strategy for LRT programmes, determines the scope and structure of the programmes, and the number of channels. The Council is accountable to the Seimas.

LRT receives about 70-75% of its funding from the state budget. However, the financing isn't sufficient to perform all objectives defined in the mission and the Statute of LRT. During the last years, state financing of national broadcasting has declined due to the economic crisis: 53.0 million LTL in 2008; 43.0 million LTL in 2009 and 35.0 million LTL in 2010. However, in 2011 state financing of LRT increased, and the total budget was 65.8 million LTL in 2011 (source: Annual report of LRT. 2011). In 2013 the total budget of LRT was 57.4 million LTL (source: Annual report of LRT. 2013).

In 2012, there were 27 private radio and 15 private television broadcasters in the country. The annual volume of private radio programmes totalled 313 300 hours; television programmes – 83 800 hours. In 2013, there were 55 radio and 32 television programmes in the country.

The Law on Provision of Information to the Public (1996, amended in 2000) sets forth procedures regarding the collection and preparation of public information for publication. It also outlines the rights, duties, and responsibilities of entities preparing and disseminating information (including journalists and institutions) as well as ownership regulations. The law stipulates state support for cultural and educational activities of public information providers such as radio and television broadcasters.

In 2006, the Radio and Television Commission signed an agreement on co-operation with the Institute of Journalism of Vilnius University. Both institutions agreed to take part in activities aimed at acquainting students with legislation regulating the audio-visual sector including its practical application. Training seminars and discussions on the media's mission in society were organised which addressed questions such as the professional role and contribution of journalists to television and radio.

In March 2005, a self-regulatory institution, named "Lietuvos Reklamos biuras"(Lithuanian Advertising Bureau) was founded on the initiative of Lithuanian advertising agencies, media and advertisers. The Bureau is responsible for the administration of a self-regulatory system and the application of the National Code of Advertising Practice, which is based on the Code of Advertising Practice of the International Chamber of Commerce. The main aim of this self-regulatory institution is to ensure a relevant and effective system of self-regulation, which could enable the advertising industry to regulate its social responsibilities by itself, employing respective fair trade principles, actively promoting the highest ethical standards in commercial communications and safeguarding consumers' interests.

The share of foreign radio and television programmes dominates in non-public broadcaster programmes and has increased by volume in hours since 2011.

Table 1:     Radio programmes, by volume in hours, 2013 (2011)


Lithuanian National Radio

Non-public radio

Original programmes

24 080 (21 860)

227 246 (312 400)

Foreign radio programmes

122 (92)

12 954 (7 061)

Joint programmes

917 (904)

10 387 (9 148)


Table 2:     Television programmes, by volume in hours, 2013 (2011)


Lithuanian National Television

Non-public television

Original programmes

21 164 (19 105)

67 881 (71 392)

Foreign television programmes

2 440 (2 795)

35 771 (3 640)

Joint programmes

 - (-)

11 518 (18 260)


Chapter published: 28-11-2014

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