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IRIS 2012-9:1/37

Russian Federation

Age Ratings for TV and Online Media Introduced

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Andrei Richter

Faculty of Journalism, Moscow State University

On 4 September 2012, the governmental watchdog agency for the media and communications, Roskomnadzor (see IRIS 2011-1/46 and IRIS 2011-7/42), issued recommendations to the media outlets on how to apply the recently amended Federal Statute “On the Protection of Minors against Information Detrimental to their Health and Development” (see IRIS 2011-4/34 and IRIS 2012-8/36).

In particular, the Recommendations spell out rules for placement of markings for the ratings of the “informational products”, related to the age of their consumers in audiovisual and online media.

For TV programmes the sign indicating the ratings shall be printed for every item on the listings of TV programmes as well as placed in the actual broadcasts of programmes rated 12+ and above. It is to be placed in a corner of the screen and kept there for at least 8 seconds after the start and each continuation of a programme (e.g., after commercials). Exempted are live TV programmes and the “informational products that have significant historic, artistic or other cultural value for the public.”

In online media the sign shall be placed on the top part of the front page of its website and correspond to the “informational products” of the highest level of restrictions that is available on the site. The sign shall not be smaller than 75 percent of the script of the second-level headings or no smaller of the font size of the main text in bold, or not smaller than 20 percent of the size of the main column on it. In colour it should correspond to or be in contrast to the colour of the title of the online media outlet.

Online news sites are exempted from these markings. Comments from readers or their reports on the pages provided for such purposes by the online media are not to be marked either.

Рекомендации по применению Федерального закона от 29.12.2010 № 436-ФЗ «О защите детей от информации, причиняющей вред их здоровью и развитию» RU
  Recommendations on implementation of the Federal Statute of 29.12.2010 No 436-FZ “On the Protection of Minors against Information Detrimental to their Health and Development”