YPC Weekly Newsletter

2009


AMENDMENTS MADE TO THE BROADCAST LAW REGARDING PROGRAMS FOR NATIONAL MINORITIES AND BROADCAST LICENSING COMPETITIONS

On December 26, 2008, at an extraordinary session of the RA National Assembly,
in the second hearing and finally, amendments to the RA Law “On Television and
Radio” were adopted. Approved by the Armenian Government on October 8 and adopted
by the Parliament in the first hearing on October 16, 2008, the document called
for amendments in two articles of the Broadcast Law.

One of the provisions of Article 28, dealing with the obligations of the Public TV and Radio Company, was supplemented with a separate point, regulating the broadcasting in national minorities’ languages. From now on the duration of programs in national minorities’ languages is not to exceed 2 hours per week for public television and 1 hour per day for public radio. Besides, such TV programs have to be followed by subtitles in Armenian.

The second amendment refers to Article 59 of the Broadcast Law, suspending
the conductance of broadcast licensing competitions till July 20, 2010. In the
new edition not only the TV companies, but also radio companies, whose licenses
expire before January 21, 2011, can apply for prolonging their license by the
National Commission on Television and Radio. The licenses cannot be prolonged
for longer than January 21, 2011.

As it has been reported, the ban on broadcast licensing competitions caused
serious concerns of both the journalistic communities and international organizations
(see YPC Weekly Newsletter, September
5-11, 2008
, September 26
– October 2, 2008
, October 3-9, 2008).