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BC Took Action on the Publika TV Open Letter and Did Not Find Any Child Rights Violations in the ‘Vorbeste Moldova’ Talk Show, Aired on Prime TV

17 May 2019
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The open letter of Publica TV channel, which targeted the politician Andrei Nastase, the Public Call of the Press Council with the request to sanction child rights violations in the ‘Vorbeste Moldova’ talk show, aired on Prime TV, and the complaint of a group of citizens against a coverage broadcast by Elita TV channel in Rezina were the main items on the agenda of the Broadcasting Council (BC) meeting held on Friday, 17 May. 

At the beginning of the meeting, the BC Chairperson, Dragos Vicol, condemned the statements of the co-Chairperson of the ACUM Electoral Bloc, Andrei Nastase, who recently called Publika TV – ‘Publika WC’ at a press conference.  Thus, BC has taken action on the open letter of the editorial office, in which it expresses its indignation towards such language, declaring Andrei Nastase ‘the enemy no 1’ of the TV channel until the politician publicly apologizes.

Dragos Vicol has based his position on the provisions of the Audiovisual Media Services Code on the protection of journalists, according to which ‘in case of self-notification or in case of a notification by journalists or media service providers, the Broadcasting Council examines in public hearings the cases of threats, pressures and intimidation likely to hinder or effectively restrict the free practicing the profession of journalists or the activity of media service providers and, where appropriate, notifies the competent authorities’.
At the same meeting, the BC members expressed their opinions about ‘Vorbeste Moldova’ talk show, aired on Prime TV. Note that on 26 April, BC was notified by the Press Council of the Republic of Moldova through a public call, that requested the broadcasting regulator to intervene in order to discourage and sanction the child rights violations in this talk show.

The Press Council considered that the editors of the talk shows editions of 15 and 16 April 2019, entitled ‘Parinte, te iubesc’ [I love you, parent!], featuring the story of a girl sexually abused by her stepfather, ‘have committed serious deviations from ethical and legal norms’. Thus, both the Journalist’s Code of Ethics, which states that ‘the journalist protects the identity of minors involved in events with negative connotations (accidents, crimes, family conflicts, suicides, etc.), including as witnesses’; and the Law on Child Protection against Impact of Information, which states that ‘the minor has the right to protection of his or her image and private life’, have been violated.  
During the meeting, the Broadcasting Council reported that it monitored the two editions of the concerned talk show, but did not identify any violations of the children’s rights in the way Prime TV had covered the issue.

At the meeting on 17 May, the BC members also took note of the complaint of a group of citizens against a coverage broadcast by Elita TV channel from Rezina. The BC monitoring showed that journalists did not commit any irregularities.