WASHINGTON -- RFE/RL President Thomas Kent was one of the headliners at an international media conference on “Truth and Power,” held on June 19 at BBC Broadcasting House in London. Chaired by former Managing Director of the BBC World Service Sir John Tusa, about 150 conference participants--including President Kent, European Broadcasting Union President Jean-Paul Phillippot, Reporters Without Borders UK Bureau Director Rebecca Vincent, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism Director David Levy--discussed the future of public broadcasters in a rapidly changing media and political landscape
One of the speakers, Czech Radio Director General Rene Zavoral, said, “The role of public media broadcasters is irreplaceable. The present world is divided by a number of conflicts and crises that go beyond the regions and are becoming a global issue. The importance of a public broadcaster that fulfils its mission well is becoming important and vital.“
Director Levy added that independence and credibility are vital to public service media, noting that “public media should build their future on the faith of the public, not politicians.” President Kent concurred, adding that “Our news is sometimes less interesting compared to private media. We may not have aired all of the news, we may have been far too careful, but it is better than to become the initiators of events.”
The “Truth and Power” conference was organized by Czech Radio, BBC Radio, and the European Broadcasting Union in cooperation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in the U.K.to mark the centenary of the founding of Czechoslovakia and 50 years since the Prague Spring.