AEJ concerned about Romania’s draft law on public broadcasting
Statement on 4 June 2010 by William Horsley, AEJ Media Freedom Representative
The AEJ is gravely concerned that the public broadcasting bill approved by a committee of the Romanian parliament would remove any proper safeguards for editorial independence, which is and must remain the guiding principle of public broadcasting. Romania’s political parties should revise the legislative proposals to take due account of the objections voiced by members of the AEJ’s Romanian Section and other journalistic bodies there. These relate to the non-transparent way in which the bill has been drawn up and handled in parliament, the politicisation of appointments to the management board, and a number of draft provisions that would seriously undermine the ability of journalists to investigate and report matters of real public interest without fear of reprisals or prosecution. The Association, representing members in more than 20 natioonal sections across Europe, urges the Romanian government to withdraw this draft law and to replace it with legislation that conforms with agreed European standards for the independence of public broadcasting organisations from political and other vested interests.