Misc 26/10/2017

Let’s stand up for TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio

Catalonia’s media are pluralistic and diverse. In Spain, there is only one position with regards to the Catalan independence process

Jaume Peral
3 min
Defensem TV3 i Catalunya Ràdio

Since 2012, the media outlets of Catalonia’s public broadcasting corporation —the Catalan Corporation for Audiovisual Media (CCMA)— have been subjected to a brutal, ferocious, and indecent campaign by some political parties and media from within, but especially from outside of Catalonia. It is a broad campaign, based on lies and falsehoods, and designed to discredit them. They have tried to portray the professionals like myself who work at TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio as a breed of kidnapped professionals, at the service of the independence movement, a kind of weapon of mass destruction.

This is an absolutely unjust statement, which bears no resemblance at all with reality and the daily work of the public media in Catalonia. With the same clarity, I also must admit that sometimes we have made mistakes, but no more or less than the rest of news outlets, with the difference that the mistakes made by public radio and television have been blown out of proportion and manipulated with the sole objective of painting us as undesirable sectarians. Now, more than ever, we must work with the goal of not making any mistakes, and excelling at what we do.

Madrid’s decision to take over Catalonia’s public media shows not only a lack of respect for each and every one of its employees, but also for the citizens of this, our nation. For many years, the Telenotícies (the daily TV news program) of TV3 (the flagship of our television stations) have been the uninterrupted and indisputable audience leaders, and this October our audiences have been stratospheric. I believe that in our news shows the audience is directly proportional to their degree of credibility, neutrality, and rigor. Or do they think that the listeners and viewers are a flock of sheep, devoid of any judgement, willing to swallow a supposedly manipulated product? All of the indicators that measure credibility in media place us in the top position in the rankings -- I am talking about the GFL, the CEO, and the CIS itself.

We are the most monitored media outlets in Spain: we're monitored by the Parliament's monitoring committee, where the vice-president of the CCMA has to appear every month along with the two directors (this doesn't happen with Spain’s public broadcaster; only the president has to appear, not the directors), the CAC monitors us (in the rest of Spain this doesn't exist), and there is also monitoring from professional advisory committee and the trade unions.

In Catalonia the media are pluralistic and diverse. In Spain there is only one position in regards to the Catalan process. Televisions, newspapers, and radios march along on the right together with the PP government (only La Sexta tries to give a more open view of what is happening in Catalonia).

I can say with head held high that TV3 is the Spanish television station that best explains, and with the greatest possible professional honesty, what is happening in Catalonia. It is too bad that TV3 isn't openly available in the rest of Spain to be able to combat the disinformation to which a good part of Spanish citizens are subjected.

And now the PP, the PSOE, and Ciudadanos are telling us that, in order to guarantee the broadcasting of true, objective, and balanced information, they must take over TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio. They have ended up buying their own propaganda.

Is a PP government that has its finger permanently in Spain’s public TV, imposing a suffocating news bias, looking to come here and give us lessons on neutrality and diversity? It would be comical, except that their intentions are real.

Will we have to do the same as the PP imposes on Spanish TV? Will we have to adapt the TV3 news talk shows to be like those on TVE, where there are never any voices that oppose the unity of Spain? Will we have to adapt 30 Minutes to be like their Weekly Report, where only unionist positions are defended? Will we have to make programs turning a blind eye to current events in an attempt to hush them up, like when a good deal of the forests in Galicia were burning? Will we have to write scripts in parallel with TVE to make news shows that the political parties supporting the intervention of TV3 want to see? Will we have to collect the complaints from the TVE news council against the constant bias of Spain’s public television? It is a situation that is being denounced by the TVE news council and which the many good professionals who work there attempt to combat every day.

This is the world turned upside down. This is to punish the good professional in order to reward the sectarian. If all this is what they want to do, they will have the overwhelming majority of CCMA professionals facing off against them. We cannot make sectarian television and do not want to.

We have received much support, but we still need more, from all areas of society. We need more voices defending the Catalan public model of audiovisual media in the service of all its citizens.

Citizens and CCMA professionals must stand more united than ever to prevent the destruction of an integrative, cohesive, professional, quality, and diverse media model.