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IRIS 2014-3:1/5


Regulatory Authority on Audiovisual Media Approves Broadcasting Code

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Ilda Londo

Albanian Media Institute, Tirana

On 27 January 2014 the Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) approved the Broadcasting Code for audiovisual media operators. According to the regulator, the Code is meant “as a step to further complete the legal and sublegal framework for the monitoring and controlling of radio and television stations’ activity.”

The Broadcasting Code further specifies the guiding principles regarding content of audiovisual media laid out in the Act on Audiovisual Media No. 97/2013 approved in March 2013 (see IRIS 2013-8/9). More specifically, the Code tackles in detail the guiding content-related principles for audiovisual media, the right to privacy, the matter of public interest in audiovisual programmes, as well as news and current affairs programmes.

The Code devotes a special section to protection of minors by setting up rules on the usage of warning signals and on the way of coverage of children in audiovisual media. In addition, the Code lays out rules regarding the coverage of disabled persons in media.

The Code addresses the requirement to promote and progressively increase the inclusion of European works in audiovisual programmes, stating that European works and independent works should be viewed with priority in the broadcasting plan. Rules on the broadcasting of advertisements are another area addressed in the Code, referring mainly to specific products, time limits, and the way advertising spots are produced.

Finally, the Code specifies the set-up, the competencies and procedures that the Council of Complaints will have to follow. The Council of Complaints is meant to work as a body that examines complaints coming from the public on specific audiovisual programmes, serving as a mediator between the public and the media. According to the regulator, the approval of this Code enables AMA and the Council of Complaints to monitor and take specific measures against audiovisual operators that violate ethical rules in their programmes. The Council of Complaints has not been established yet, as its election requires a qualified majority within the AMA Council, which is pending upon election of missing members in the council from the parliament.

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  Press Release of January 2014