Romania

[RO] Instructions for the vaccination campaign coverage

IRIS 2021-2:1/16

Eugen Cojocariu

Radio Romania International

The Consiliul Naţional al Audiovizualului (National Audiovisual Council, CNA) adopted Instruction No. 5 of 22 December 2020 on the progress of the information and communication campaign on the vaccination against COVID-19 in Romania in the audiovisual media (see IRIS 2020-4/6,  IRIS 2020-5/30, IRIS 2020-6/11, IRIS 2020-7/22, IRIS 2020-7/12, and IRIS 2020-8/20).

According to Article 1 (1), during the information and communication campaign regarding the vaccination against COVID-19, audiovisual media service providers have the obligation to ensure that information and debate programmes addressing the topic of the vaccination against COVID-19 comply with the legal obligations regarding the provision of correct information to the public, respectively:

a) rigour and accuracy in the presenting of and debating on the subject of the vaccination against COVID-19, including clear communication of the benefits, risks and importance of the vaccination campaign;

b) the dissemination of information taken from official and reliable sources, both national and international, so that the audiovisual media services can contribute to combating the contamination of the public with fake news published on social media networks; the verification of any information directly or indirectly related to the subject of the vaccination against COVID-19;

c) the observance of deontological rules, paying special attention to each message disseminated so as not to stimulate strong emotional reactions, panic and insecurity among citizens.

For the purpose of implementing the provisions of paragraph (1), audiovisual media service providers have the obligation to take any necessary editorial measures to ensure the fulfilment of the obligations provided for in CNA Decision No. 220/2011 on the Code of regulation of audiovisual content, with subsequent amendments and completions.

According to Article 2 (1), the National Audiovisual Council requests that broadcasters, in the interests of the general public, air the audio-video spots related to the information and communication campaign on the vaccination against COVID-19, which was elaborated by the public authorities involved in the strategy, at their request, based on the provisions of Chapter IX - Communication Strategy of the Vaccination Strategy against COVID-19 in Romania, approved by Government Decision No. 1031/2020.

The audio-video spots are broadcast within each advertising slot, as part of a public interest campaign; for each audio-video spot, the broadcasting periods and the coverage area, respectively the broadcasting of the spot within the national, regional and/or local radio and television programme services, shall be established by the authorities responsible for the communication strategy, taking into account the different stages of the vaccination process.

According to Article 6, paragraph (2) of Audiovisual Law No. 504/2002, with subsequent amendments and completions, the editorial decision with regard to broadcasting belongs exclusively to the broadcaster.

The National Audiovisual Council stated that it would quickly monitor the way in which the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 in Romania is reflected in the audiovisual space. In another development, on 7 January 2021, the Council approved the submission to the Strategic Communication Group (GCS), which is responsible for public communication in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, of a request for the public interest spots related to the information campaign on the vaccination against COVID-19 in Romania to be subtitled in the languages of national minorities and in the sign language. The languages of the national minorities invoked by the members of the CNA were Hungarian, Russian and Romani, for the Roma communities.


References

  • CNA Instruction No. 5 of 22 December 2020, regarding the audiovisual development of the information and communication campaign regarding the vaccination against COVID-19 in Romania

  • Press release regarding the vaccination campaign against COVID-19

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This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.