The Lithuanian public broadcaster, Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRT), is the media group that is owned by the public.
The Lithuanian public broadcaster, Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRT), is the media group that is owned by the public. As a taxpayer-funded institution, LRT’s fundamental mission is to serve the public interest and the public’s right to trustworthy and objective information.
Lithuanian Radio and Television dates to 1926 when the first radio station started regular broadcasting from the then temporary capital of Lithuania, Kaunas. The television service has been broadcasting since 1957. Radio and television services are now operated from LRT’s headquarters in Vilnius.
LRT produces around two-thirds of its content in-house and outsources one-third of it to external producers. LRT employs approx. 600 people.
According to the data of a public survey conducted by the opinion research company Baltijos tyrimai, among the seven Lithuanian media groups, LRT received the highest evaluation in 2020 with regard to all assessed characteristics: promotion of culture, education of audience, reliability, promptness, objectivity, and modernity. In 2020, 82% of Lithuania’s residents positively evaluated LRT, which is the highest public evaluation since 2016.
LRT is a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), an international alliance of public service media organisations with 69 members representing 115 organisations in 56 countries across Europe and beyond. As an EBU member, LRT actively engages and contributes to the EBU activities and services, such as Euroradio Music Exchange and Eurovision News Exchange. In 2020, LRT Director General Monika Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė was elected as a member of the EBU Executive Board for 2021–2022 and became the first representative of the Baltic national broadcasters elected to this high-level position.
In 2020, 82% of Lithuania’s residents positively evaluated LRT, which is the highest public evaluation since 2016.
LRT has held itself to the highest standards of integrity and credibility, that is why LRT joined the international Journalism Trust Initiative by Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans Frontières, RSF). It provides international standards and enables media outlets to apply these standards in their own practice.
The JTI standards were developed in 2019, following recommendations from the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), with the participation of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Agence France Press and international experts – more than 120 media experts and organisations in total.
The JTI standards include a wide range of criteria, such as media organisation management, transparency of revenue sources, accuracy of journalistic content, source responsibility, accountability for adherence to journalistic principles and others. The JTI standards also require media organisations to ensure social guarantees for journalists, to have transparent recruitment guidelines, to ensure equal opportunities, to have a safety policy, and to fulfil other obligations to its employees.
Following LRT’s accession to the JTI initiative, LRT has substantially updated its Editorial Policy and editorial processes, principles and rules, as well as other documents governing LRT staff management and other LRT activities in line with the JTI standards.
The updated LRT Editorial Policy is not just a handbook of rules that our journalists are bound to. The document is accessible to the public and allows our viewers, listeners and readers to evaluate LRT’s work based on our own commitments, and for us to be accountable to our audiences. LRT’s compliance with the JTI standards of transparency, professionalism and accountability was independently assessed by the international audit firm Deloitte Asutralia.
Currently, more than 500 media outlets around the world are participating in the Journalism Trust Initiative at various stages of the process, with Public Service Media such as France Télévisions, RTE News in Ireland, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SWI, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC News/Radio-Canada JTI certified. The initiative proposes a multi-stage programme. Participants are first asked to assess their compliance with the standards by answering a specific questionnaire. Those who wish can choose to make their results public. In the final stage, at the request of the media outlet, its compliance with the JTI indicators is assessed and certified by an international auditing company.
For more about the JTI initiative: https://www.journalismtrustinitiative.org/
LRT’s responses to the JTI questionnaire and the LRT Credibility Report are available here.