26 Jul 2018 20:01

Moldova adopts new Code of Audiovisual Services keeping ban on transmission of news of Russian TV channels

CHISINAU. July 26 (Interfax) - The Moldovan parliament on Thursday adopted in the final reading the new Code of Audiovisual Services that keeps the ban on the transmission of news shows of Russian TV channels, an Interfax correspondent reports.

"The new code contains a number of provisions concerning the organization of media operations, the work of national and local TV channels, the share of transmitted programs and locally made shows, the share of shows in the Romanian (official) language and other languages," chairman of the relevant parliamentary committee Vladimir Hotinianu said.

The code introduces several new mechanisms, including a new methodology of measuring the audience to produce truthful information to players on the media and advertising market and also the mechanism of financing the national suppler of media services (0.9% of the budget) - Teleradio-Moldova public company.

It binds the suppliers of services to buy at least 50% of programs from EU countries and those that signed the European Convention on Transfrontier Television. The mandatory quota for European producers is 50% and for independent producers - 10%.

Hotinianu said that the new document was under work for two years and contains a number of provisions of the old code adopted last year and directed "at combating foreign propaganda."

"The new Code on Audiovisual Services provides for keeping the norms of the current Code of Television and Radio that don't permit the transmission of news, analytical or military programs made in countries that have not ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, namely Russia," Hotinianu said.

The document was adopted in the second reading without much discussion by 56 deputies of the parliamentary majority. The opposition boycotted the two last days of the session because the ruling coalition ignored all of its proposals.

Previously Moldovan President Igor Dodon expressed apprehensions that the new code could lead to censorship. He said he would not sign the bill into law if it "does not meet national interests."

This year Moldova introduced restrictions on the transmission of news, analytical and military programs from Russia and other countries that have not ratified the convention on transfrontier television. There have been several cases when TV channels were largely penalized for breaches of law. Namely, Moldovan channels were fined for the live broadcast of the message of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Russian Federal Assembly and also for showing the military parade on May 9 in Moscow's Red Square.