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Media NGOs express solidarity with ‘Radio Orhei’

11 July 2018
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Mass media non-governmental organizations express solidarity with the radio station ‘Radio Orhei’ and request the Broadcasting Coordination Council (BCC) to abrogate the decision of 5 April 2018, granting the broadcasting license to a radio station with a similar name, thus stimulating the transfer of image and, respectively, unfair competition.

We remind that ‘Radio Orhei’ has been broadcasting for more than 12 years, it is known and appreciated by the audience in the region, having a reputation gained over time through a pluralistic and balanced editorial policy in relation to the local and central political authorities.

However, by the Decision No 9/54 of 5 April 2018 ‘With respect to the contest balance sheet for the use of available radio frequencies’, BCC issued a broadcasting license to a radio station with a similar name - ‘Radio Orhei FM’, even though the public regulatory authority was warned of the imminent danger of confusion among program consumers. In fact, by this decision, BCC stimulated the transfer of image from a known radio station to a new radio station, which was thus privileged. Concurrently, the signatory organizations consider that this decision stimulates unfair competition on the audiovisual market and could cause financial and moral damage to ‘Radio Orhei’.

According to the Broadcasting Code of the Republic of Moldova, BCC is the representative and guarantor of the public interest in the audiovisual field, responsible for the implementation and observance of the Code, having one of the aims the establishment of democratic principles for the audiovisual functioning. We consider that BCC Decision No 9/54 of 5 April 2018 is contrary to this aim and we call for its abrogation. At the same time, we ask BCC to give up the formal approach to broadcasting licensing applications and take into account the rights of the existing broadcasters on the market, promote fair competition and respect the identity of each broadcaster.
 
Association of Independent Press
Independent Journalism Center
Association of Electronic Press
Center for Investigative Journalism
‘Access-Info’ Center
Association of Independent TV Journalists
Press Freedom Committee