Two TV channels fined in Moldova for covering Ukraine events
CHISINAU. March 11 (Interfax) - The Broadcasting Council of Moldova has fined two television networks for "one-sided coverage of the events in Ukraine," under a resolution of the Council's meeting on Friday.
NTV Moldova and Primul in Moldova have been fined each 10,000 leu (about 500 euro). Also, an unrelated breach cost the latter 5,000 leu.
The Council analyzed coverage of the regional security crisis by several of the main TV channels and found Primul in Moldova and NTV Moldova in breach of Article 13 of the Code of Audio and Visual Media Services. "[The channels] failed to provide impartiality and balance and to encourage free opinion by providing opposite points of view during the period of public debate of the relevant issues and credible reporting of a fact or event," the Council said in a submitted report.
In particular, the two channels aired the speech of Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing the recognition of the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics, the report said.
Exclusiv Media, which owns NTV Moldova, said that after Moldova imposed a state of emergency on February 24, the programs "released in Russia, which are biased to provide one-sided information" were excluded from the broadcasting network.
NTV Moldova and Primul in Moldova have links to the Moldovan Party of Socialists. The party issued a statement denouncing the "one-sided, biased and politicized approach by new members of the Broadcasting Council to decision-making in regard to several media organizations."
The situation in Ukraine prompted the Moldovan parliament to impose a 60-day emergency starting on February 24. On March 1, the government's emergency commission temporarily banned broadcasting of news and news-analysis programs from countries which did not ratify the European Convention on Transfrontier Television for the duration of the emergency.