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Lithuania Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Lithuania

The media landscape in Lithuania has changed fundamentally since the country became independent in 1990. The newspapers, which were part of the Communist Party's propaganda machine, have been privatized and are no longer subject to censorship. At the same time, new technology in the IT sector and the establishment of privately owned radio and television have changed the entire media consumption.

Lithuania Newspapers

Internet and mobile telephony

Nearly 56% of households have access to the Internet in their homes, but mobile browsing is becoming an increasingly common way to access the Internet (2012).

There are three mobile operators with their own 3G network, Omnitel, Tele2 and Bité. Omnitel is owned by Swedish-Finnish Telia Sonera, Tele2 by the Swedish Kinneviks sphere and Bité is controlled by a capital fund - Mid Europa Partners.

The surfing behavior of the Lithuanians does not differ from the rest of the Western world. Global sites such as Facebook, Google and YouTube are at the top when it comes to the number of visits. The news portal Delfi.lt, which also has operations in the other Baltic states, is also among the most visited sites (2012). It is also made in a version for the Russian-speaking population.

TV and radio

Radio broadcasting began in 1926 and TV broadcasting in 1957. The state-controlled company LRT operates three radio channels and two TV channels with license funding and a limited state subsidy. In 1990, LRT's monopoly was liberalized and a number of new radio and TV channels were established. Lithuania has around 50 radio stations, most of them local (2012). The Swedish Modern Times Group (MTG), which is part of the Kinneviksphere, was the first foreign player in the radio market and has been operating the commercial station Power Hit Radio since 2003.

The TV market is divided between LRT and a number of private players. Here, too, MTG has entered and broadcasts today in three nationwide channels. In total, there are nine nationwide channels as well as some 25 local stations.

Daily press and magazine

The Lithuanian press has undergone major changes since independence. During the 1990s, the former state-controlled newspapers were privatized and were most often taken over by employees. At the same time, many new publications were started.

During the 2000s, several free magazines were launched, while the Internet changed the former business models. In the country there are 14 daily newspapers with national distribution and a free newspaper, 15 Minučių, which is published in the three largest cities. It is Lithuania's largest newspaper with an edition of about 100,000 copies. (2012). All daily newspapers also have extensive publishing on the Internet.

During the 2000s, foreign companies made major investments, including Swedish Bonniers, which publishes a daily business newspaper, Verslo žinios, as well as a translated version of the magazine Illustrated Science. The Norwegian Schibsted is also represented. three of the most popular magazines aimed at women.

Culture

A rich cultural heritage with ancient roots has been kept alive in Lithuania to a greater extent than in most other parts of Europe. Among other things, over half a million Lithuanian folk songs have been recorded. There is great interest in folk music, folk dance and other forms of peasant culture.

The most important poem in Lithuanian is the long hexameter poem The Seasons of Kristijonas Donelaitis, who was a Protestant priest in Prussia in the mid-18th century. The seasons are in Swedish translation.

  • Countryaah: Latest population statistics of Lithuania, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.

Lithuania's most famous painter and composer, Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911), is considered one of the first abstract painters. His work can be seen at the Čiurlionism Museum in Kaunas.

Cultures other than the Lithuanian language have also flourished in the present Lithuanian territory. Many Jewish cultural figures originate in Lithuania, for example violinist Jascha Haifetz. Two of Poland's foremost writers, the nationalist Adam Mickiewicz and Czesław Miłosz (Nobel Laureate 1980), were born and raised in Lithuania.

Culture of LithuaniaDuring the post-war period, culture became a tool for resistance to Soviet power, despite the fact that cultural life was under tight political control. In particular, the Lithuanian theater experienced an artistic upswing in the 1970s and 1980s and has also gained appreciation abroad. Best known among contemporary Lithuanian writers is the lyricist Tomas Venclova, who now lives in the United States. Venclova, the poet Marcelijus Martinaitis (1936–2013) and the proseist Romualdas Granauskas (1939–2014) are among those translated into Swedish.

In the younger generation of Lithuanian writers, Jurga Ivanauskaitė (1961–2007) is the most noted. Her challenging novel The Witch and the Rain has been translated into several languages. Other significant names are the lyricist and proseist Renata Šerelytė (1970–) as well as the playwright Marius Ivaškevičius (1973–).

Lithuania has a rich music and art life. The country has a number of symphony and chamber orchestras, some of which are world class. The conductor Saulius Sondeckis (1928–2016) has achieved great international success. Osvaldas Balakauskas is the most renowned postwar composer. There is also a strong singing and choral tradition. Lithuania also has some of Europe's leading jazz musicians.

2015

August

Prosecution is brought for shooting deaths in 1991

Prosecutions are brought against 66 Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian citizens for war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with Soviet soldiers shooting 13 civilians during the Lithuanian liberation struggle in 1991. More than 1,000 people were also injured when soldiers stormed the TV tower in Vilnius in January 1991. The then Soviet leader Michail Gorbachev is considered in Lithuania to have carried a great responsibility for the killing by not preventing the attack. However, he is not prosecuted for lack of evidence.

July

Russian investigation provokes anger

Lithuania and its neighboring countries react with anger to the fact that the Russian Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into whether the independence of the Baltic States is legal. The inquiry is being carried out at the request of two MPs for the United Russia Power Party, which describes the Soviet Union's recognition of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania's independence as treason. Baltic leaders say the measure is absurd but an example of the new imperialist attitude that characterizes today's Russia.

May

Russia is accused of disrupting electricity imports from Sweden

Lithuania accuses the Russian Navy of interfering with the work of laying a power cable under the Baltic Sea between Sweden and the Lithuanian port of Klaipéda. The electricity cable will reduce Lithuania's energy dependence on Russia. Similar complaints have been made from Sweden.

Suspected Russian spy arrested

A Russian citizen who is described as an agent for the FSB security service is being arrested for suspected spying. According to the Prosecutor's Office, he must have tried to infiltrate state decision-making bodies, the judiciary and the security service.

April

Russian TV broadcasts are banned

The government bans broadcasts from the Russian-language TV channel RTR Planeta for three months, citing it "spreading dissent, war propaganda and angular information". The channel is registered in Sweden, but the programs are produced by a Russian-owned company.

The government wants to strengthen the defense

The government presents a plan to raise defense spending by a third in 2016. Lithuania has never lived up to NATO's demand that 2 percent of the state budget should go to defense since the country joined the defense alliance. The proposed increase reaches up to 1.46 percent. It is Russia's intervention in Ukraine that has led the government to rethink.

February

American gas replaces Russian

Lithuania concludes agreement to import liquefied gas from the United States to reduce dependence on gas supplies from Russia. In October 2014, Lithuania's first liquid gas terminal was opened in the port city of Klaipéda.

Weapons to Ukraine annoy Moscow

Russia accuses Lithuania of violating its own arms export laws by sending arms to the government of Ukraine. The Government of Lithuania says that arms deliveries did not violate any rules and that they were small and open.

Limited military duty is reintroduced

Lithuania decides to reintroduce military service, albeit to a limited extent. As of September, the President and the Defense Council decide to convene approximately 3,000 men aged 19-27 per year to a nine-month military training. Parliament must approve the decision before it can enter into force. Like the other Baltic states, Lithuania feels threatened by the more aggressive Russian foreign policy of the past year.

Russia releases fishermen

A Russian court releases a Lithuanian fishing boat and its crew (see September 2014), which has been detained in Murmansk for over four months. The Lithuanian shipping company pays over half a million in fines and acknowledges that the crew mistakenly engaged in illegal crab fishing in Russian waters, but claims that it is because the regional fisheries authority has not informed that the boundary for the economic zones in the area has changed.

January

Information campaign on war

The Ministry of Defense is handing out an information brochure to the country's high schools on how civilians should behave if the country were to go to war and occupied by a foreign power. It states, among other things, how shelters should be furnished and how civilians should be evacuated from war zones. Residents are also called to civil disobedience if they are forced to earn an occupying power. The Ministry makes no secret that the brochure is inspired by Russia's support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Euro becomes new currency

Lithuania joins the EU Monetary Union on New Year's Day and switches to using the euro. Now all the Baltic states are included in the euro zone, which comprises a total of 19 of the EU's 28 member states. In addition, the euro is used in Montenegro and Kosovo.

 

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