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Dissension hits Romania public TV as top editors are changed

de     HotNews.ro
Marţi, 23 octombrie 2007, 0:00


The editorial management of the news department in Romania's public television TVR faces trouble as a process of reorganization launched by the politically-named head of the broadcasting society has hit many an editors and producers seen as part of a team that revamped the politically clogged newsroom over the past couple of years.

Editors and producers employed by newsroom head Rodica Culcer, brought to lead the News Department after the 2004 government change, were moved from the team in charge with the prime time news on TVR1, the main channel of the public broadcaster SRTv, to take charge with news bulletins that few Romanians are watching - the noon and late-night news on TVR1 or regional bulletins on TVR2.

The restructuring was announced by the new head of the News Department, Madalina Radulescu, and by a member of the SRTv board - politically named Radu Toma of the Greater Romania Party.

The move comes a week and a half after TVR1 broadcast footage of Agriculture minister Decebal Traian Remes allegedly taking bribe - money and food - from a businessman, via a former minister.

The scandal seriously affected the Liberal Government in Bucharest, known for a series of political deals with the main opposition party, the Social Democrats - to whom SRTv president Alexandru Sassu, the initiator of the News Department restructuring, belongs.

Rodica Culcer, who is believed to have lost many prerogatives as head of the News Department when it was split into two last week, said the latest events come against “editors and producers who have proven their value by freeing the TVR news from political servitude. I'm sorry that they probably pay their association with me in this manner. It all sounds like restauration combined with revenge”.

In a case similar to that of the Czech public television, where political control sparked huge street protests less than a decade ago, TVR has been for long seen as the main means of political groups in Romania of strengthening their influence over Romanian audiences as political control over the institution has never been abandoned.

While the newsroom situation is generally seen as having improved for the past two years, the SRTv board is still largely formed of politically-named people.
























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