The Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting (RRTV) agreed with the Alliance for the Family complaint, stating that public Czech TV had conducted a biased and unbalanced broadcast. The Alliance for the Family has long argued that Czech TV prioritizes views calling for the legalization of same-sex marriage and, on the contrary, crowds out those who seek the constitutional protection of traditional unions.
Petitions were created in support of both a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage and a proposal asking for the constitutional protection of traditional marriage. In the autumn of 2018, both petitions were discussed at a public hearing in the Chamber of Deputies, and Czech TV reported on this in one of its programs.
“The petition for a constitutional definition of marriage was launched later, so, at that time, it had several thousand fewer signatures. Soon after, however, it managed to exceed the threshold of 100,000 signatures, and as organizers, we held a press conference. Czech TV sent a news crew, allegedly for a live broadcast, which did not take place in the end; we were never given the reason for this. To this day, we do not know if there was ever any mention on Czech TV that this petition exceeded the threshold of 100,000 physical signatures, which are known to be of a greater value than internet signatures,” the Alliance for Family stated on its website.
According to the Alliance, the initiative to legalize same-sex marriage is repeatedly mentioned by Czech TV on various occasions. But the Alliance noted one report from last November that was completely one-sided and indirectly called for signing the petition supporting same-sex marriage. RRTV also confirmed this.
According to the Council, the obligation to observe the principles of objectivity and balance in news programs was violated, and, in particular, neither side should have been favored.
“I believe that at least the concerned Czech TV journalists should receive some training on objectivity and balance, which, in our opinion, should be upheld when reporting on political issues. The public media cannot favor one group of the population over another,” said the chairwoman of the Alliance Jana Jochová.
Title image: A married couple (Pixabay)