Thursday, 22 October 2009

[creative-radio] Concerned Broadcasters Criticize Spain's New Law


Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Concerned Broadcasters Criticize Spain's New Law
SOURCE: World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)

According to the government, the bill is the outcome of a wide
consultationwith all actors in the audiovisual sector

(AMARC/IFEX) - 17 October 2009

The European branch of the World Association of Community Radio
Broadcasters (AMARC) refutes the declarations of the Spanish government
and express its concern over the fact that this important law was drafted
without the participation of the media's main actors and without any kind
of debate.

In spite of the fact that the government said that it would consult with
all organizations in the media sector during the drafting of the bill and
arrive at a consensus, it has not facilitated the flow of information on
the contents of law, nor have meetings been held with the relevant
organizations, with the exception of the Union of Commercial Television
Stations (UTECA). The only way for media organizations to know the
proposed law's contents, and thus allow them to make contributions, has
been through the State Council (Consejo de Estado) during the month of
August 2009. Just 10 organizations presented proposals in a consultative
body hearing, which was not a government initiative.

Moreover, AMARC considers the law to be written with a commercial vision
of communication instead of considering it as a natural development of
fundamental rights.

In regards to the social uses of media, the law recognizes in a marginal
form, in article 32, that non-profit organizations can establish radio and
television stations (community-based media).

Within this framework, AMARC Europe considers that the article is quite
deficient and contravenes the European "Audiovisual Media Services"
directive, since it does not include any measures to guarantee or support
the existence of these media outlets.

While the law puts in place restrictions for community-based media, those
same measures do not apply for commercial media services.

On the other hand, in order to regulate community-based media, the Spanish
Government did not consult with the Network of Community Media (Red de
Medios Comunitarios), although the network requested this many times. Nor
did the government take into consideration the recommendation regarding
amendments to article 32 proposed by the State Council and the
Commissionfor the Telecommunications Market (Comisión del Mercado de las

Before the next step towards the passage of the Audiovisual General Law,
AMARC demands:
- Improvements and amendments to article 32 regarding community media
- Removal of the financial restrictions foreseen in article 32.
- Acknowledgement of the "Red de Medios Comunitarios" proposals, whose
declarations have not been taken into account by the Government.
- That the recommendations issued by international bodies be taken into
account, including the UN joint declaration on diversity in broadcasting,
the September 2008 resolution of the European Parliament on community
media and the Council of Europe's declaration on the role of community
media in promoting social cohesion and intercultural dialogue.

For more information:
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters
705, rue Bourget, bureau 100
Montreal, Quebec H4C 2M6
secgen (@)
Phone: +1 514 982 0351
Fax: +1 514 849 7129

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