Politics

OSCE media freedom representative urges Moldova to renew license of independent TV station to ensure pluralism before elections

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, urged the Moldovan authorities today to renew the broadcasting license of Pro TV Chisinau to ensure pluralism, especially in the run-up to the March 2009 parliamentary elections.
OSCE, 16 December 2008, 14:05

VIENNA, 16 December 2008 - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, urged the Moldovan authorities today to renew the broadcasting license of Pro TV Chisinau to ensure pluralism, especially in the run-up to the March 2009 parliamentary elections.

"The closure of Pro TV Chisinau will be a significant drawback in the already limited broadcast pluralism in the country, and will contravene Moldova's OSCE commitments in the media freedom field," wrote Haraszti in a letter to Foreign Minister Andrei Stratan.

Pro TV Chisinau has been informed by the broadcasting regulator, the Audiovisual Co-ordination Council (CCA), that its license would not be prolonged. The CCA said that the station had been warned four times about violating the broadcasting law but did not report to the Council on how those violations were rectified.

"While I recognise the important regulatory and monitoring activities of the CCA, it is unacceptable that minor violations are used to close a popular media outlet. " said Haraszti.

"The main role of a regulatory body should be to ensure pluralism and not to limit it."

The CCA warned that Pro TV Chisinau will have to compete for a new license after the current one expires on 23 December.

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