The expert commission, established under the National Commission on Television and Radio, has released a draft of criteria for erotic TV and radio programs, films, containing horror and violence scenes, as well as programs which could have negative influence on the health, mental, physical growth and education of minors. The document is developed in compliance with the requirements of Article 24 of RA Law “On Television and Radio”, authorizing the broadcast of such programs only at night (from 24.00 till 6.00).
The draft of the bylaw was placed on the NCTR website, as well as discussed by the heads of Armenian TV companies on February 4. According to the information of the website of the broadcast regulatory body, all the interested persons could present their proposals to the document until February 8.
As regards the content of the draft, if the criteria, defining erotic, violence, horror and cruelty, are overall in accordance with the conventional standards, then some descriptions of what could negatively affect the minors, cast on doubts. For instance, what are the indications to determine “a distorted, inadequate coverage of historical events and present-day life”, or “humiliation and discredit of spiritual, cultural values, and prominent representatives of the nation”? And what should one mean by the restriction on “imitation of drug-addicts and alcoholics”?
These concerns gain more actuality, as the regulatory body has so far failed to followup adequately the evident violations of the broadcast legislation in such spheres, like coverage of electoral campaigns, advertisement, broadcast language, etc. So how NCTR (or another authorized body) is going to apply the abovementioned blurred restrictions, which assume a broad and subjective interpretation?!