GENEVA, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Fifty public service media (PSM) leaders in 39 countries have rallied behind the shelved Greek broadcaster ERT by signing an EBU-led statement calling for the station to be restored to air immediately.
The signatories (complete list here), which include the directors general of all of Europe's most important public service media organizations, universally condemn the Greek government's "undemocratic and unprofessional" course of action, which "undermines the existence of public service media in Greece".
The statement, to which the directors general, presidents and chief executive officers, as well as several heads of international relations, have put their names, reads as follows:
ERT MUST BE RESTORED TO AIR!
"We, as Directors General of Europe's public broadcasters, express our profound dismay at the action taken by the Greek Government on Tuesday, 11 June in shutting down ERT with immediate effect.
This undemocratic and unprofessional action of the Greek government undermines the existence of public service media in Greece and its independence from the government.
For that reason, we strongly urge the Greek Prime Minister to immediately reverse this decision, allowing ERT to go back on the air in Greece and we wholeheartedly support the open letter sent by the EBU President and Director General on 11 June 2013."
Having collected the signatures in less than 24 hours, the EBU leadership has now sent the document to the Greek Government in a second letter urging Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to revoke the closure decree, while in addition appealing for at least one ERT TV channel to be left on air.
On Tuesday evening (June 11) EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot and Director General Ingrid Deltenre wrote an open letter to Mr Samaras urging him to see sense and pointing out that "public service media and their independence from Government lie at the heart of democratic societies".
The move followed an emergency EBU Executive Board session held on Wednesday.
About the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)
The EBU is the world's foremost alliance of public service media organizations, with Members in 56 countries in Europe and beyond.
The EBU's mission is to defend the interests of public service media and to promote their indispensable contribution to modern society. It is the point of reference for industry knowledge and expertise.
The EBU operates EUROVISION and EURORADIO.
EUROVISION is the media industry's premier distributor and producer of top quality live sport and news, as well as entertainment, culture and music content.
EURORADIO enhances public service radio through the exchange of music, professional networking and the promotion of digital and hybrid radio - to ensure radio remains a key protagonist in a multimedia world.
The EUROVISION/EURORADIO satellite and fibre network is the largest and most reliable in the world directly plugged in to public service media everywhere.
Head of Communications
SOURCE European Broadcasting Union (EBU)