Leko: Democracy cannot function without truly informed citizens

Zagreb - Democracy without truly and well informed citizens cannot function, said the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Josip Leko at the seminar organized in the Croatian Parliament "Role of national parliaments in ensuring the independence of Public Service Broadcasting in Council of Europe Member States".

"Therefore it is not enough for the parliament to enact the laws but it is important to have highly responsible people with managerial skills as heads of media companies, who will enact democracy and its principles combined with quality program", said Leko at the seminar co-organized by the Croatian Parliament and Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe. He emphasized that press media had experienced a decrease of the market share and that in such circumstances it is very important to have true and objective sources of information as well as high level of journalist professionalism in public services as HRT and HINA in order to maintain democracy and its values. 

Gvozden Flego, Chairman of the Croatian delegation to the PACE and Chairman of the Committee for culture, science, education and media of the Croatian Parliament, said that Council of Europe considered media as mediator and public opinion creator, a key factor of democracy in public service. Media serve as a tool for educating society, especially important in today’s abundance of yellow press. Objectiveness and completeness is extremely important. 

Eve Salomon, General Rapporteur of the Seminar, observed that public service broadcasting had to be completely independent of any influence, especially political and economic, trying to reach the highest professional standards of integrity, objectivity and rightness. The can only reach that point by withstanding the influence of the state that is complete the transition from governmental to public media, regulate financing and offering more quality program competing thus with commercial media. Political authorities support public media because they want to control them, said Salomon and added that managers of the public media companies should be elected without any political influence.

Autor: Press Office