RTK is supposed to be the independent public service broadcaster in Kosovo. It has been on air since 1999 and has benefited massively from European financial aid since then. Unfortunately, the concept of an independent broadcasting is gradually losing ground, as Kosovo’s government seems to be misusing the broadcaster for own mass information purposes.
In an open letter to Hashim Tachi, Prime Minister of Kosovo, the European Broadcasting Union denounced the negative development in the young state:
“Pressure from your government transformed RTK from being a balanced supplier of news into a media arm of the ruling party and of yourself as prime minister. Critical or alternative voices have been suppressed” added Jean Reveillon, Secretary General of the EBU.
The EBU reproach refers primarily to the newly issued Reporters Without Borders report on press freedom, which downgrades Kosovo from 58th to 75th place in less than an year. RTK’s contribution for the fall is obvious: the broadcaster was to obtain a critical role in the process of developing a stable and independent democracy in the new country- a process that is recently endangered by strong political and economical interests, governing RTK.
EBU requires urgent measures to restore the autonomy of the broadcaster. After all, autonomy and autonomy only, is what distinguishes a public broadcsters from a state one.
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