Potential Doubts Raised by EBU over Israeli Broadcaster’s Membership and Eurovision Participation

January 5, 2023


The EBU Chief has expressed concern about "threats to the integrity and independence" of Israeli national public broadcaster, KAN, which puts their membership of the EBU and participation at Eurovision at risk.

The statement was a response to recent remarks by new Israeli Communications Minister, Shlomo Karhi, that the EBU claims has been a threat to shut down KAN’s news operation. In one radio interview, he is reported as saying: “the public shouldn’t fund one particular channel, there should not be public broadcasting”.

According to the EBU, without a functioning news operation, KAN would no longer meet its commitment to a full range of programming as public service media, putting in doubt its eligibility for EBU membership and ability to take part in major events such as the Eurovision Song Contest.

In the statement they have said: “Independent news and information form an integral component of public service media organizations and make a key contribution to media pluralism in well-functioning democracies…. With the primary interest of the public in mind, that directly funds KAN, we trust the new government will also safeguard the independence of KAN and enable it to continue to fulfil its mission in democratic society”.

The statement also reveals that  back in 2017, the then Israeli government had issued statements showing intent to dismantle KAN’s news operation, but these were finally abandoned when the EBU insisted on this being a condition of the Israeli broadcaster’s hosting of the 2019 Song Contest.

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