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Reply to REM: Ladies and Gentlemen, You Had Your Chance

10 Apr 2019
On the occasion of REM’s response to a CINS article, I can only say: this is for the readers, because REM had its chance – four times.

Nine hours after the investigative story titled REM Council Ignores Findings of Its Own Service in Bid to Justify Television Campaigns was posted on the CINS website, an e-mail arrived at CINS’ address.

A month later, the Regulatory Authority of Electronic Media (REM) sent some kind of reply.

The statement the REM Council issued at a session held on the same day accused the ladies and gentlemen from CINS of forging the REM Expert Service’s report.

First of all, CINS did not change its field of work – it does not operate in forging reports, but rather in journalism, in line with the highest professional standards. If the ladies and gentlemen at REM do not understand what kind of journalism, I would like to point them to the section titled Awards: LINK. Of course, had we gotten a chance to talk with the ladies and gentlemen at REM, we gladly would have explained it to them ourselves.

Nevertheless, even though they had a month-long opportunity to talk with us, they did not agree to it. In fact, I do not know whether anyone has ever addressed the ladies and gentlemen at REM as much as the CINS journalists have.

Over a month ago we requested documents from them – including the report they tried to deny with incomplete information and seeming transparency. We requested reports on several dozen complaints – we received none.

We also asked for transcripts or audio recordings of REM Council sessions. We got – surprise – the same number as above.

Almost a month ago we requested an interview.

Three weeks ago we also sent questions.

No reply.

For three weeks the ladies and gentlemen at REM had an opportunity to respond to a report the CINS journalists had had access to (no thanks to REM). They knew what we were doing – they remained silent.

What the ladies and gentlemen at REM do is questionable. How did they manage to send us a report that, among its conclusions, has conclusions contrary to those available to us?

The reports contain identical typographical errors, identical descriptions of events – except that the one you sent did not identify any problems and violations.

How can there be two identical documents with completely different conclusions? The question is for REM. The only answer is the publication of documents.

Since REM has demonstrated a desire to be more open to the public, I hereby request that REM (I know you are reading this) give CINS journalists access to the entire documentation on all the cases we have written about. All that we asked for and more.

We call on REM to give us access to everything. We promise to protect personal information, like we always do.

Either REM will publicize all the documents that preceded the sessions we wrote about, publicize everything – each paper, each e-mail, from the moment when complaints were submitted to the moment when the REM Council sessions were held. Publicize transcripts or audio recordings of the sessions as well. Or give us an interview and access, and we will publicize it ourselves.

In short: I do not have the slightest doubt about any of the words in our article. CINS respects ethical norms and adheres to high standards in obtaining information. If the ladies and gentlemen at REM do (have any doubt), they should fearlessly prove it. By making everything public.

Finally, this might also be considered a provocation, an attempt at getting us to reveal where we got the documents from. The answer to that would be that, dear ladies and gentlemen, it will not happen. CINS protects its sources as the law and morality require it. To the end.


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