CReDO opinion Cabinet meeting of 10.02.2016
The adoption of the draft Broadcasting Code in the current variant could have unpredictable effects because some of the provisions considerably limit the freedom of expression. Thus, the bill, which was included in the agenda of the February 10 meeting of the Government, should be withdrawn for improvement, said the director of the Resource Center for Human Rights (CReDO) Sergiu Ostaf. In a news conference at IPN, he put forward a series of proposals designed to better ensure the right to expression, media pluralism and the independence of the media regulator.
Sergiu Ostaf said that if the new Code is adopted in the current form, a more difficult working environment will be created for journalists and editorialists from the broadcasting sector. To improve the bill, the phrase “obligation of diligence in verification of information” should be modified in Article 13, paragraph 3(b). This norm is excessive and requires additional efforts on the part of journalists. The phrase can be replaced with “responsibility to respect the professional journalistic ethics according to the European democratic practices.”
The CReDO director also recommends amending Article 13, paragraph 1, which says that “complete and truthful information’” should be presented. The expert considers the expression “complete and accurate” should be excluded because it is very hard to do this in practice as the journalists cannot ensure the absolute accuracy of information.
Sergiu Ostaf suggests supplementing the provisions from paragraph 4(c) of Article 13 with the expression “including, where it is possible, to present the reaction of the relevant or involved person”. The given amendment will facilitate the work of the journalists when the person featured in the article/report is not accessible or refuses to communicate with the press.
According to Sergiu Ostaf, the imposition, by Article 105 of the Broadcasting Code, of the restriction on “dominant situation in forming public opinion” is unpredictable and oscillating. This aspect discourages the ensuring of quality of entrepreneurial activity in the field. The pluralism of opinions can be gradually ensured by effectively limiting the number of licenses, not by imposing the restriction on having a dominant position on the market. In this regard, the number of licenses can be limited to two broadcast or retransmission licenses for each frequency for the same private individual and legal entity or persons related to them, up to the fourth degree.
The CReDO director considers the current Broadcasting Code is inferior to the proposed bill in many respects, but this bill does not provide solutions for attracting investments to an audiovisual business of a high quality either. Also, it will not ensure a wider pluralism of opinions.
Sergiu Ostaf noted that in other states the parties are not banned from founding TV channels. This restriction stipulated in the Broadcasting Code will reduce the pluralism of opinions or will make the parties to indirectly finance TV channels from undeclared resources.
In OZ sunt incluse 20 de chestiuni. Din care:
nici o chestiune nu se refera la promovarea libertatilor antreprenoriale, eliminarea constringerilor antreprenoriale, doar chestiunea nr.2, nr.3 (Sistemul informational automatizat-registrul garantiilor reale imobiliare) poate facilita realizarea acestora,
nici o chestiune nu se refera la promovarea reformelor in domeniul justitiei și actiunilor anticoruptie, imbunatatirea performantelor sectorului financiar-bancar, sectorul energetic,
2 chestiuni se refera la dreptul la exprimare si libertatile media (nr.5, nr.6) - Codul audiovizualului.
Din totalul chestiunelor 4 (expuse in Tabelul de mai jos) reflecta în anumita masura prioritatile Programului de Guvernare 2016-18 la capitolul dezvoltarea economica.