The officials of the Public Radio and Television have an obligation to preserve its integrity, independence, prestige and credibility, as a public good, to shield its operation as a strong body and defender of the democratic state, pluralism and multiculturalism, said its President of Democracy, in his greeting at the first RIK awards, to former executives of the institution.
"They must ensure that Public Radio and Television will continue to serve the citizens to whom it certainly belongs," said the President.
The RIK began its operation in a difficult period for Cyprus and was identified with its history, the President said, as it is "one of the most important events in Cypriot public life".
As he said, the RIK is recognized as the agency for recording, promoting and preserving the events that marked the historical, social and cultural course of Cyprus, as well as covering important international developments.
"The most important thing is that it succeeded in turning into a channel of communication, becoming an ambassador of our culture and a connecting link of the everywhere Hellenism and the homogeneity with Cyprus", he said, adding that the history of RIK is primarily due to the soul, the honor and the industriousness of its executives.
As he said, in its long journey, RIK was fortunate to be surrounded by talented and dedicated professionals in the field of journalism, who served it with zeal and determination, regardless of costs, efforts and difficulties.
That is why the Board of Directors and the Directorate of the RIK, he said, established an institution that will reward and give honor to distinguished personalities who contributed to building the prestige of the Foundation, as well as to the cultural events of the country.
Referring to the honored persons, the President said about the poet Kyriakos Charalambidis, that through his multifaceted work in the fields of Literature and Culture, he succeeded in enriching our spiritual tradition. For Maroula Violaris-Iakovidou, the first Cypriot female journalist and the "journalism pioneer", Costas Serezis, the President said that they treated their profession as a function, they left their mark as custodians of objective information. He also said that the filmmakers-photographers Doros Partasidis and Giorgos Hatzigeorgiou, as eyewitnesses, captured moments and recorded with their lens the history of our country, "bringing it back and leaving it in this way for eternity". Finally, the President referred to the late composer Giorgos Kotsonis, "who, with the establishment, operation and consistently successful course of the Third Program of RIK, breathed life into and defined, literally, public radio", as he said.
President Anastasiades noted that the mission of Public Television dictates the provision of objective and valid information, without any interventions or exclusions and with full respect for the independence of journalists, but also for all opinions, positions and bona fide reviews.
"If there is something that I will boast about after my ten-year presence in the government of the country, it is that there is no one, no one, either in RIK or in the other media, who claims that there was, at any time or in any way, interference in the way they are broadcast whether the news or the comments or the criticism however severe. Freedom of the press, freedom of the media is the foundation of every democratic state. And I have my own respect and my own title of honor towards established journalists, whether they judge me or criticize me or even if they wrong me. They have every right to do so and the citizens, of course, have the judgment to decide", he noted.
He added that the Mass Media and journalists create trends and standards and therefore should maintain balance, leaving citizens, through proper information and recording of all opinions, to reach their own conclusions.
"Public Radio and Television not only records History, but, at the same time, through the program it adopts, shapes it, maintaining balances and creating trends and standards", he noted. That is why, he added, the operators of Public Radio and Television, and not only that, have an obligation to preserve its integrity, independence, prestige and credibility, as a public good, "they have an obligation to shield its operation as a strong body and defender of the democratic state, pluralism and multiculturalism, as among the inherent characteristics of our country, to ensure that Public Radio and Television will continue to serve the citizens to whom it certainly belongs", he concluded.
He then expressed his satisfaction with the interactive operation of RIK with the citizens and the renewed and upgraded image, which presents all the television, radio, online programs and activities offered by the Foundation.
"Programs and actions that make it a dynamic choice, which, in addition to quality information, promote culture, the arts and letters, giving, at the same time, a voice to citizens, a step in public debate, the free expression of positions and opinions" , he said.
"It is everyone's duty to make Public Radio and Television a flexible and efficient Organization that will respond to the challenges and needs of the modern era, an Organization that will work for the benefit of its officials, employees and citizens. This is our demand and expectation for RIK and in this direction our joint efforts are moving and will continue to move", he noted.
RIK, approaching its seventy years of operation, organized the RIK awards, with which it wishes to pay tribute to the executives who have offered to the Foundation during their history.
The President of RIK, Thanasis Tsokos, during his greeting said that he aspires for the awards to be established as an institution and thanked the President of the Republic, the staff of the Foundation and the honorees for their presence at the ceremony.