OSCE media freedom watchdog urges Moldovan authorities to help resume Antena-C transmission, ensure transparent privatization of broadcast media

Iran Materials 20 December 2006 11:07 (UTC +04:00)

(osce) - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, expressed his concern today over the disruption of the nationwide transmission of the Antena-C radio station, as well as the way the privatization of the radio station and Euro-TV, both municipal broadcasters, began, reports Trend.

"The interruption of Antena-C's broadcasts limited the pluralism of the country's media scene. I hope that Antena-C, which is valued as an important and professional broadcaster, will be able to resume its national coverage soon," wrote Haraszti in a letter to Moldovan Foreign Minister, Andrei Stratan.

Before the interruption of Antena-C's broadcasts on 18 December, the Chisinau Municipal Council decided to tender out the frequencies of Antena-C and Euro-TV, as stipulated by the new Moldovan Broadcasting Code.

The OSCE Representative supported the idea of privatizing broadcast media, but stressed that the privatization process had to be fair, independent and transparent.

"Both Antena-C and Euro-TV have been key sources of information, offering an indispensable platform for democratic political debate," Haraszti said.

"The main criteria for granting frequencies to competing broadcasters should be the choices already made by viewers and listeners of Moldova. The authorities in Chisinau should ensure that Antena-C and Euro-TV continue their work."