The union representing the islands news professionals on Thursday sounded the alarm after being informed that the management of the island’s state broadcaster Cybc has decided to drastically cut the number of informative current affairs shows broadcast on its airwaves.

More specifically, the Cyprus Union of Journalists (Esk) noted that Cybc management has of late been taking and promoting “incomprehensible decisions” to reduce informational broadcasts, particularly on the Cybc’s very popular Third radio channel (Trito).

“As the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Union of Journalists has been validly informed, as of September 1, 2022, that the afternoon current affairs show on Trito, “Close to the Facts” has been axed. And this at a time when Cybc’s Third Programme is the top radio station in Cyprus, precisely thanks to these informative broadcasts,” Esk said in a statement.

This is not the first time that such actions have been taken. Cases of shrinking information programmes on Cybc have also been recorded in the recent past, especially with regard to the transmission of news bulletins both on radio and television.

Esk said the journalists directly affected by the cuts were only informed after the decisions were taken and it was a done deal.

“The board of directors of Esk calls on the administration and the directorate of the public broadcaster to think again and revoke their initial decisions. With these decisions we consider that: a) the character of public broadcasting is eroded and b) its information mission is being reduced,” the statement said.

According to the constitution, the state broadcaster, Cybc is responsible for broadcasting programmes for the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities in the Greek, Turkish and English languages and any other languages at its discretion (Armenian), with impartial attention to the interests and susceptibilities of the different communities and with due regard to the interests of minority communities.