Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) and Latvian Public Service Television (LTV) concluded a cooperative agreement today to work together towards implementing the collaborating activities to develop Russian-language TV channels in both countries.
Both channels will be independent in their program selection, with focus on local life. However, common interests will be looked for in the areas where co-operation could lead to achieving better results and help save money.
“It goes without saying that the information field that originates from Russia and is created by the Russian-language media in Estonia, Latvia and other Eastern and Central European countries, needs balancing," said Margus Allikmaa, ERR's chairman of the board.
"Russian-speaking population in these countries deserves quality journalism that is based on a variety of sources. They also deserve TV programs, which are more closely connected to the local life. Estonia has decided to launch its own Russian-language TV channel and Latvia now has plans to do the same. As the Estonian and Latvian public broadcasting organisations share common objectives, all kind of cooperation that would help to improve the quality of the Russian-language information field, is justified and reasoned.” he said.
The cooperative agreement offers both broadcasters an opportunity to exchange programs and films, train employees and market their channels.
"We're pleased that we agreed on such important issues as content production and purchasing, as well as personnel training," said Latvian Public Broadcast's Chairman of the Board Ivars Belte, adding that the unifying factor in both channels are a common mission and values.
Latvia's National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) only made the decision to create a third LTV channel on March 19. It will launch next year.
The launch of ERR's Russian-language TV channel is scheduled for the end of September.
Editor: M. Oll