On behalf of the Committee, its Chairman, Aristos Damianou, stated that a report will be prepared to be presented before the Plenary Session of the Parliament, regarding the conclusions of the recent debate on the need to ensure freedom of the press and impartiality. in RIK, the role of RIK as a public broadcaster and the dangers posed by the possibility of censorship of journalists and the media.
Mr. Damianou noted that regardless of the political weight of the incident, there was public interest in this debate. “The internal affairs of RIK are your business”, said Mr. Damianou, addressing the representatives of the administration of the Foundation, but added that “issues of freedoms and rights are particularly important for the Commission and we hope that in the future we will have and better internal procedures, but also more sensitivity to issues that concern society as a whole “.
Both the General Manager of RIK, Thanasis Tsokkos, and the Chairman of the Board, Michalis Michael, did not want to add anything further than what had been discussed in the previous meetings, while neither the journalist, Dinos Finikaridis, who was also present, asked for reason. Mr. Tsokkos stated, however, that the legal advisors of the Foundation have already received instructions, in order to proceed with the preparation for the revision of Chapter 300A that governs the legislation for the operation of RIK.
With his intervention, the DISY MP, Kyriakos Hatzigiannis, raised the issue of the way in which MPs and politicians in general are invited to RIK programs, talking about opacity. “There are MPs who know where RIK is, and others who do not know,” he told Mr. Tsokko, adding that the Foundation is not accountable for its practice. He also asked the Parliament to give explanations as to whether MPs are promoted when they try, or according to the wishes of parties or party interests.
In response to Mr. Hatzigiannis, the Chairman of the Board, Michalis Michael, said that the representation of politicians is a matter for journalists and the current news and stressed that the administration does not intervene, except when there is a question of “fair representation, especially in matters concerning a specific political person “. Responding to Mr. Hatzigiannis, the Director of News and Current Affairs of RIK Giannis Nikolaou, who also attended the meeting, confirmed that the news is one of the main criteria for the selection of guests in shows.
In his own position on the issue, Mr. Tsokkos stated that the criteria for hosting policies in RIK, are the percentage of parties, the representatives sent by the parties at the level of party position and the topics covered by each MP. He added that RIK has an institutional obligation to brief Parliament on the issue of political representation on a monthly basis and said it has never received feedback or comment to make corrections.
For his part, the DIKO MP, Marinos Mousiouttas, stated that he himself had asked for explanations from RIK about three years ago regarding the hosting of politicians in shows. Citing information that had been communicated to him at the time, according to which some MPs had been hosted dozens of times, while the Chairman of the parliamentary committee with most issues, as he said, had been hosted only twice, Mr. Mousiouttas stated that these are not in line with the answer. given to him at the time, that the criteria for selecting RIK guests are proportional to the epistemological issue and their availability.
EDEK MP Costas Efstathiou, who had been at the center of the debate in the Committee, after his speech was cut off from a broadcast, clarified that he leaves no reproaches against anyone, not even against him journalist Giannis Nikolaou. “We happen to be on the line many times, waiting to speak, but being informed that it will not be possible, either because something timely happened or because there was a delay,” he said. He stressed, however, that “we ask for more from RIK and as citizens, because it is a public radio and television”. “Informing the public is not just about people showing up and saying whatever they want off topic,” he said, adding that people working at RIK know this. “We must not get to the point where we want to control journalism,” he said.