Spanish public broadcaster RTVE to be reformed

On 23 April 2004, the newly elected Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero announced the creation of a “Council for Reform of Public Media”, concerning the public radio and television as well as the national press agency EFE.

This decision has been taken after many years of political interference in the public media, especially during the former government of Jose-Maria Aznar, though officials admitted that “nothing has been done in the past 25 years [since the end of the franquist regime] to make public media independent from the political power”.

Public Television RTVE has been heavily criticized of its biased reporting in the past years, especially on issues such as the wrecking of the oil-tanker “Prestige”, the demonstration against the war in Iraq or the supposed responsibility of ETA in the terrorist attacks in Madrid in March 2004.

The “Council for Reform of Public Media” is composed of five members and will have a maximum delay of one year to present proposals for reforming public media, such as new appointing procedures for the General Director and the board, as well as in financial matters (advertisement and fee).