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Media organizations against digital television emergency ordinance

de Radu Rizea
Joi, 13 noiembrie 2008, 12:57 English | Top News

The Media Organizations Convention (COM) issued a protest on Thursday against the suggestion made by the Telecomm Ministry to regulate the crossover to digital television through a Governmental emergency ordinance. The COM protest gathers over 30 media organizations, unions and employers' associations. The main problems revealed in the document is that the Government would become a media market regulating authority and would also change the decision making authority from the Culture Ministry to the Telecomm Ministry.

At the end of October, the Independent Journalism Center manager, Ioana Avadani, posted on her blog both issues above mentioned, reminding the history of "exceptional situation motivations" invoked by the Government in support of emergency ordinances - the nearing of the EU-imposed deadline (2012), assumed by Romania. "The Government seems to forget that it has a law draft on this subject waiting for a few months the approval of ministries involved", the post reads.

In the protest issued on Thursday, COM points at several problems with the emergency ordinance project:

- It lets the Government decide on the entire digital frequencies allocation mechanism, turning the Government into media market regulator;

- It doesn't correlate technical aspects of the transition to digitalization with aspects referring to radio and TV programs which will still be distributed or broadcast via ground transmission systems;

In the opinion of the media organizations, the transition to digital radio and TV services should begin with the putting up of a public inventory of national, regional and local digital frequencies, followed by a transition strategy and a territory coverage plan and ending with the establishing by law of the independent mechanisms implementing the two strategies, in a transparent environment. 

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