The Audiovisual Council has canceled the disposition that stated that journalists have to give up opinions, and the only truthful information is those published by the authorities. This decision was canceled after several media NGOs and the National Platform came up with a public call, criticizing the issued disposition.
“According to the provisions of art. 86 of the Code of the audiovisual media services and taking into account the fact that the Disposition no.02 of March 24, 2020, has generated a way of criticism among several journalists and NGOs (Center for Independent Journalism, Association of Independent Press, Center for Journalistic Investigations, Electronic Press Association, Access-info Center, Press Freedom Committee, Independent Television Association, Independent Journalists Association RISE Moldova, the Association of Environmental Journalists and Ecological Tourism of the Republic of Moldova, the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum), who described it as “abuse” and “censorship” of the regulatory authority in the field of audiovisual media services in the Republic of Moldova, in order to calm the spirits of the society, I declare that I cancel this provision. ” stated Dragoș Vicol, president of the Audiovisual Council.
“At the same time, the text of that disposition will be submitted for debate at the next public meeting of the Audiovisual Council. I assure you that the members of the Audiovisual Council will take into account all the opinions, visions, criticisms and fears expressed in these days.
At the same time, I come with the following explanations:
#1. I issued on March 24, 2020, the Disposition no. 02 taking into account the fact that we are going through a critical period, extremely serious from all points of view, dictated by the pandemic expansion of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), taking into account the establishment of a state of emergency in the territory of the Republic of Moldova, in order to act as a regime of public power and in order to achieve the public interest of the Audiovisual Council (AC), in its capacity as guarantor of the public interest and as the sole regulatory authority in the field of audiovisual media services.
#2. Disposition no. 02 of March 24, 2020, was not signed by me abusively and unilaterally, but with the consultation of all the members of the Audiovisual Council, some of them coming with suggestions and clarifications. Finally, unanimously, all members of the Audiovisual Council approved the text of this disposition.
#3. Due to the danger of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not possible to physically summon a public meeting of the members of the Audiovisual Council.
#4. Taking into consideration the recommendations of several media NGOs, I will submit to debate the text of the Disposition no. 02 of March 24, 2020 (already repealed) at the next meeting of the Board, meeting that I will convene in an emergency.
#5. According to the Code of audiovisual media services – art. 79 paragraph (4) lit. b) -, the president of the Audiovisual Council signs the decisions and other acts issued by the Audiovisual Council. So other acts, in our case being the disposition, especially since we had the approval of all the members of the Audiovisual Council.
I deeply regret that things have taken such a turn, especially during the state of emergency, when we all need, especially the audiovisual media in the Republic of Moldova, to handle the devastating effects generated by the COVID-19 pandemic with great ethical prudence and civic commitment. Not to feed panic in society through the audiovisual sources, by expressing insufficiently informed and often mismatched opinions. In times of restraint, we must be disciplined and have a professional behavior that is flawless. Let’s learn the lesson through unity and only then will we overcome this tragedy. ” Dragoș Vicol also said.