The radio and television watchdog examined the official program schedule for March 6-12 in an effort to establish the share of air time for national production and content coming from Europe, Russia and other countries. The probe was opened last week in response to an appeal by conservative MP Laurynas Kasčiūnas.
The biggest share of air time (38 pct) including previews of films and features was found on Lietuvos Rytas TV, which was closely followed by BTV where features and films made 35.5 percent of weekly air time. The LRTK survey did not examine the advertisements, as its time was added to the features and films broadcast at the time.
On TV6, Russian content made 7 percent of the air time, standing at about 2 percent on TV3 and TV8.
Absolutely all weekly content of LRT Lituanica, the national broadcaster’s channel for Lithuanian audiences abroad, was Lithuanian, closely followed by Info TV with 92 percent. Lithuanian broadcasts and movies made the bulk of the content on the remaining channels of the national broadcaster: 77 percent on LRT Kultūra and 60 percent on LRT. The two channels, along with the commercial channel LNK, did not feature a minute of films, features or other content developed in Russia during the week at issue.
Kasčiūnas had asked the watchdog to monitor and analyze the main broadcasts of Lithuanian television channels to establish the share of audiovisual production by the country of origin of the content. Both he and LRTK chief Edmundas Vaitekūnas expressed certainty that it was the popular culture that best fixed the elements of nostalgia for the Soviet era in the nation’s consciousness.
In Kasčiūnas’ words, people feeling nostalgia for the Soviet era see it as disappointment in Lithuania’s democratic system and the “pro-Kremlin geopolitical orientation.”