The International Press Institute (IPI) and five media freedom partners have written to Petr Kellner, whose PPF Group have just acquired Central European Media Enterprises (CME), to raise a number of issues regarding media ownership and editorial independence.
In the open letter, they call on him and PPF Group to uphold media freedom and respect editorial independence.
The open letter mentions the wide-ranging implications for the media landscapes in each of these five countries CME is present in. Concerns are also raised about PPF’s extensive commercial dealings with China, whose leadership is particularly averse to criticism and whose growing role in Central Europe “is an issue of undisputed public interest in the region”.
In its response to the letter, signed by Didier Stoessel, CME’s CEO for the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia; and Lubos Jetmar, CME’s CEO for Bulgaria, PPF Group said that it “believes in freedom, democracy, entrepreneurship, professionalism, and a plurality of opinions. Those are the values we are committed to uphold as owners of CME.