The Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK) has reacted to the new draft law of Radio and Television of Kosovo (RTK). The five-year mandate without a term limit for the position of General Director of RTK as it is proposed is a serious threat for transparency, editorial independence, and the credibility of RTK. If a single individual leads the institution for decades it can stifle creativity and independence. AJK is proposing to limit the mandate of the General Director of RTK to three years with the right for reelection for a second term, or a five-year mandate without the right of re-election. Due to the complicated situation, we seek the assistance of the embassies and the international organizations in Kosovo to put forward our proposals.
Furthermore, the draft law contained other weaknesses that need intervention in order to ensure the independence of RTK. AJK proposes that the following changes be made to the draft law:
- The new draft law has removed the limit of bought content that RTK can purchase from independent producers, thus endangering the original content produced by RTK. AJK proposes that the percentage of purchased content, which previously existed, be reinstated.
- The draft law does not contain public clear guidelines for buying audiovisual productions, thus threatens the free competition. AJK proposes the previous guidelines be reinstated.
- In concordance with the Law No. 05/L -020 on Gender Equality, AJK recommends that five out of the eleven RTK Board Member positions are held by women, in comparison to the new draft law, which mandates that only two women will hold RTK Board Members positions. Furthermore, AJK suggests that women hold two out of the five Senior Management positions, as well as 30% of other managerial positions.
- The Board of RTK must be elected by a non-political council that will provide a shortlist for board members to the Assembly of Kosovo for approval. This model was successful in regional countries like North Macedonia to depoliticize the Executive Board.
- The article which lists the profiles of the Board of Members should change the term “business” with “a person from the field of economy.”
- The draft law should add a specific article stating the maximum number of deputy directors in order not abuse with the position and the taxpayer’s money.
- AJK recommends that the RTK Director of Television in Albanian language, Director of Television in Serbian language, Director of Radios, and the Deputy Directors of Radio and Television must have the same mandate as the General Director of RTK in order that when a new director comes in place he/she should have their employees and not the ones from the previous administration.