Is #rik really what it claims to be?

31 March 2016

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BirdLife Cyprus would like to express its great disappointment towards the new RIK (CYBC) show called #rik, for ignoring the questions on environmental issues posed to the President of the Republic, Mr. Anastasiades, via Twitter.

#rik is a new participatory TV show where citizens are asked to submit questions to the TV guests via Twitter. On 10 March 2016, #rik broadcasted an interview with the President of the Republic prior to which citizens were invited to submit questions by 9 March 2016 via Twitter using #askpresidentcy. BirdLife Cyprus submitted 10 questions in total within the proper deadline. Our questions referred to the issues of Akamas, Limni, illegal bird killing and the issue of isolated housing. There were around 50 questions in total, submitted on time, and around 20 of them were on environmental issues, a significant proportion of the questions that is, which should not have been overlooked.

However, without any excuse or any other obvious reason the journalists decided to exclude all questions on environmental issues. Given that the programme supposedly bases its questions on what citizens ask, without having a predetermined theme, ignoring two fifths of the questions posed, clearly raises serious questions about how the programme theme is decided and about how truly participatory this show is. Does this mean that #rik does not consider the environment a serious subject or an issue that interests society? We call on #rik to shift its focus and pay equal attention to issues that concern a large proportion of citizens, such as the protection of the environment.

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