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The Parliament Announces a New Debate on the Broadcasting Code. The Media Expert: „This Is a Mimicry of the Participatory Process”

20 July 2016
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The proposals of updating the Broadcasting Code in force, as well as the bill of the new Code, will be exposed to some wide public debates on Tuesday, July, 26 informs the Department for communication and public relations of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova on the institution's site. The media expert, Petru Macovei, draws the attention that in this case "The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova wants to fool again the public opinion of our country, through the mimicry of the participatory process of adopting the changes for the Broadcasting legislation". At his turn, Ion Bunduchi, one of the authors of the new Broadcasting Code thinks that "It would have been wiser to organize the debates in autumn, after the writing of the bill of the new Code and before being proposed to the plenary session for adoption in the second reading".
 
According to the Parliament's press release, the event is organized at the initiative of the speaker, Andrian Candu and will have the topic: "Propaganda and the domestic product - the challenges from the media space of the Republic of Moldova".
 
Among others, the press release claims that the bills nr.125 (LP) and nr.218 (DP) have been expertised by competent international institutions, but "The bill of the new Broadcasting Code hasn't been sent for expertise". According to the media experts, the bill of the new Broadcasting Code was expertised by the European institutions in 2011.
 
To what extent is the Parliament ready to adopt the new Broadcasting Code, since it puts simultaneously in debate the changes of the present Code? And which could the impact be of the public  debates announced for next week? We asked these questions Petru Macovei, executive director of the Association of Independent Press (AIP) and Ion Bunduchi, executive director of the Association of Electronic Press (AELP). Here are the opinions of these two media experts.
 
Petru Macovei, API:
 
In this concrete case, I am certain of the fact that the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova wants to fool again the public of our country through the mimicry of the participatory process of adopting the changes for the Broadcasting legislation. We had promises that the two bills (nr. 125 and 218), initiated with scandal in 2015 and critised much at the national and international level, will be merged with the bill of the new Broadcasting Code. If you remember at the Mass Media Forum from October last year, the journalist community asked the lawmakers to give them up and to think of some good provisions for protection the informational space of the Republic of Moldova.

Thus, according to the principle " The dogs bark, but the caravan passes", the roller of the Democrat Party repasses over the public opinion of the Republic of Moldova and wants to vote only its initiative which is not only of the DP, but it was elaborated together with Media House and General Media Group of Plahotniuc. I have the impression that till July, 31 the bill nr.218 will be voted, but the bill of the new Broadcasting Code will be called to preservation till the reduction to zero of adopting this important act. For DP and coalition controlled by this party at this moment, for media magnate Plahotniuc is important to adopt the bill nr. 218 which contains several articles which will favour unfair competition in the broadcasting from Moldova. The trust of Plahotniuc will be put in a privileged position, but the small broadcasters, which at this moment are not ready to cope with the requirements of the domestic product to the extent which the law requires,  will be out of the market.
 
In the recent weeks, harsh criticism was brought  from the international organizations regarding this bill, especially referring to the retransmission ban. My question is: if DP and Plahotniuc fights with propaganda, why do they continue to transmit the main propaganda mouthpiece of Kremlin, the First Channel? Why not give up broadcasting as Kiril Lucinschi did in 2015? He doesn't even do  this gesture of good faith. This proves the fact that the person wants to secure not the informational space of the Republic of Moldova, but his own business in the media field.
 
Ion Bunduchi, APEL:

As for me, it would have been wiser to organize the debates in autumn, after the writing of the bill of the new Code and before being proposed to the plenary session for adoption in the second reading.

In this connection: the bill of the new Code was expertised in 2011 by Bernd Mowes, Council of Europe; Stephen Whittle, Council of Europe; Katrin Nyman-Metcalf, OSCE; Michael Wagner, EBU-UER. On October, 25-26  a public debate of the bill was held in Chisinau where two of the four European experts participated.

Any public debate is a democratic exercise and is welcomed. But any debate can have high, low or null efficiency. Taking into account that the development of public debates involves time, human effort and pecuniary resources, we expect high efficiency each time.

I really want this to happen in the case of the debate which we talk about. But I am not certain, possibly because the yield can be predictable.

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