Three members of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union have initiated legal amendments to put the media under the obligation of ensuring that at least half of its content contains positive information.
Sky News crew at DELFI
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

"Prevalence of negative information in channels of political communication leads to the society's disappointment in the government's institutions and withdrawal from the political arena, as well as lack of confidence in the media and the information it publishes," the parliamentarians said.

In their words, lack of confidence in state institutions and the media is "often the result of unstable economic situation in the state and the excessively big focus on negative information."

"However, obviously, we very much lack high-quality content that would enable the people to acquire more knowledge and information about the processes in progress on the political arena, realize the issues that are discussed by the administration and are important to the society, as well as the decisions that are being made," the politicians said.

The amendments have come under criticism from the LFGU-delegated Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and the elder of the party's group, Ramūnas Karbauskis.

"It is the prime minister's belief that nobody – politicians or other persons – have the right to regulate media content, as the Law on Provision of Information to the Public that is currently in effect and the Code of Ethics of Provision of Information to the Public envisage all the necessary requirements for media operations, consequently, expanding or revising them would be an excessive measure," the prime minister told BNS via his spokesman Tomas Beržinskas.

"LFGU does not plan to impose censorship upon any media channel by consensus," said Karbauskis, adding that "the proposal on censorship was never discussed or harmonized in the political group, therefore, should be considered an opinion of the three Seimas members rather than a decision of the political group.”

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