Eurovision organizer warns Israel against curbing public broadcaster’s independence
The European Broadcasting Union, which puts on the Eurovision Song Contest, releases a statement citing its concern over “fresh threats to the independence and sustainability” of the Kan public broadcaster.
In a statement, the organization notes Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi’s comment last month that there’s “no place” for public broadcasting in Israel and a number of moves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is advancing, including plans that would lead to a drop in Kan’s revenues and the closure of several radio stations.
It also mentions that Karhi, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, sent a letter this week calling into question the broadcaster’s coverage of the coalition’s plans to weaken the judiciary.
“Impartial news and information are critical to the functioning of a healthy democracy,” EBU director Noel Curran says. “We call on the Israeli government to safeguard the independence of our member Kan and ensure it is allowed to operate in a sustainable way, with funding that is both stable, adequate, fair, and transparent.”
The warning is the second from the EBU since the government took office in late December.