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The Broadcasting Council, Notified About the Broadcast of the New Year Message of Vladimir Putin on Several TV Stations in the Republic of Moldova

13 January 2020
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The Broadcasting Council (BC) was notified about the fact that the channels RTR Moldova, Ren Moldova and Primul in Moldova broadcast the congratulatory messages of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, on the New Year’s Eve. The complaint was filed by the non-governmental organization WatchDog, which calls for sanctioning the television broadcasters.

According to Dragos Vicol, the BC Chair, the complaint was registered on January 9. The document shows that the broadcast of Vladimir Putin’s message interfered with security of the domestic information space in the Republic of Moldova, and requests to fine the media outlets in question.

Valeriu Pasa, the representative of WatchDog, argues that the BC was obliged to take initiative after the broadcast of speech the President of the Russian Federation, which did not happen. „The issue with the Broadcasting Council is that they wait for notifications, provided that the Code of Audiovisual Media Services stipulates that they are in charge of monitoring and observing the law. Why should they wait a notification if the violation is obvious?”, commented Valeriu Pasa.

On the other hand, Dragos Vicol considers that Vladimir Putin's speech does not fall into the category of materials that fall within the scope of the mentioned article and, thus, the fine cannot be applied.

„The congratulation is not an autonomous show with the connotations or characteristics of an analytic, informative-analytic, political or military program service. The essence of this speech was more about congratulating, some kind of review of certain elements. It was not a discourse with military connotations, that incites to hate or that would attack on sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Moldova”, said Vicol.
The BC Chair also said the BC members would examine the complaint with „maximum diligence”. If found guilty, the three TV channels could get a fine between MDL 40,000 and MDL 70,000.

Previously, the BC fined with the maximum amount, MDL 70,000, the TV Channel Prime TV, for violating the so-called Law on Anti-propaganda on the basis of a notification filed by WatchDog. Prime TV would then broadcast a militarist speech of Vladimir Putin, which he gave in the Russian Parliament.

Photo source: NTV screenshot