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A New BC Decision on How TV and Radio Broadcasters are to Inform the Public About COVID-19

27 March 2020
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At the meeting of 27 March 2020, the members of the Broadcasting Council (BC) adopted unanimously a new decision on how TV and radio journalists should cover the topics related to coronavirus pandemic. This happened the next day after the BC Chair, Dragos Vicol, canceled his Decision that was widely criticized by the journalistic guild.

According to the new decision, all the audiovisual news and debate programs that cover every day the consequences generated by the effects of the pandemic, both at national and international level ‘must give maximum priority’ and broadcast ‘exhaustive information about the state of emergency in order to cover immediately the official data and releases of the Commission for Emergency Situations and of other public authorities’.

The new decision also says that TV and radio stations should present that information ‘fully, compulsorily, including by means of sign language and subtitles’.

Media service providers will also have to broadcast information about coronavirus ‘exclusively from sources verified by providers, and present the position of the relevant public authority’.

The document was voted by five members of the BC present at the meeting. The Chair, Dragos Vicol, stated he gave up Decision No 2 in order to ‘appease the tension in the society’. He added that the previous decision was made in the context of the pandemic and to protect the audiovisual space from false information about Covid-19.