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The BC’s Response to Civil Society’s Demand to Honor Its Obligations: The Council Will Not Tolerate Attacks against Its Independence

07 July 2021
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The Broadcasting Council (BC) has announced in a press release that it examined the public demand in which over 50 organizations urged the authority to honor its obligation to ensure the public interest in the broadcasting sphere. The communiqué states that the authority does not intend to be drawn into political games and “will not tolerate attacks against the institution’s independence and autonomy.”

The civil society’s demand was launched on July 6, after examining the first report on monitoring media service providers during the parliamentary election campaign, which resulted in sanctioning a single TV channel, in spite of the fact that the BC specialists had detected breaches committed by at least four channels. The signatory organizations referred to “inadmissibility of tolerating the conduct of providers who blatantly ignore the provisions of the Code of Audiovisual Media Services, the Regulation on Audiovisual Media Content, the Electoral Code, and the Regulation on Covering the Election Campaign for the Early Parliamentary Elections of July 11, 2021.” In this context, the NGOs demanded from the BC members to “fulfill their supervisory and control functions with the utmost diligence and in good faith.”
 
In its reply, the BC claims that it “truly honors its obligation to protect the public interest in the broadcasting sphere in order to provide correct and objective information for the population.” “According to the Code of Audiovisual Media Services, each member’s vote at the public meeting of June 30, 2021, was accompanied by arguments, statements that the collegiate authority considers and cannot oppose. The Broadcasting Council is not a threat to media service providers, and according to the provisions of this Code, the sanctions shall be applied individually depending on the gravity of a specific breach and its effects,” they mention in the communiqué.
 
In this context, the BC recalls that it is an autonomous and independent institution promoting transparent policies and reiterates that “it will not admit any sort of involvement in political and economic games” and “will not tolerate attacks against the independence and autonomy of the institution and its members.”

The authority promises that, upon examining the second report on election campaign coverage by the 16 TV and radio service providers monitored by the BC, “if any breaches of the provisions of the broadcasting and electoral legislation are reported, media service providers will be harshly sanctioned.”