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IMC requestsfrom the licensees to respect the legal framework regarding prohibitions and restrictions on harmful program content.

25 January 2019

The Independent Media Commission has carefully followed issues raised in the public opinion recently regarding transmission of program conten, through which negative phenomena and criminal activities may be incited or promoted, with special emphasis on the contents of music spots which interrelate with the promotion of narcotic substances.

Regarding similar issues, IMC has consistently expressed its concern in individual communications with licensees, and through public announcements has aimed in reminding them of their legal and ethical obligations towards the public.

Contents which promote the use of narcotic substances and incitement of criminal activities is prohibited, whereas program categories that may adversely affect the physical, mental and ethical development of children and juveniles are categorised and regulated by the Law No. 04 / L-44 on the Independent Media Commission, as well with bylaws of  IMC.

IMC Regulation 2017/07 on Audiovisual Commercial Communications, which aims, among others, to protect children and minors from forms of audiovisual commercial communication prohibits the encouragement of behaviors that may detriment health, mental and ethical development; advertising some products such are cigarettes and tobacco products, weapons and ammunition, pyrotechnic devices and drugs.

Also, IMC Regulation 2013/01 on the Protection of Children and Minors in Audiovisual Media Services determines the manner of categorisation, signaling and time of broadcasting of such programs, as well protecting and respecting an identity of children and juveniles in programs.

The Code of Ethics on Media Service Providers in the Republic of Kosovo CIMC 2016/03, also regulates issues regarding protection of children and minors in terms of harmful and insulting content.

IMC continuously conducts periodic monitoring related to the evaluation and compliance of licensees with the Law and bylaws of  IMC. During 2018 year, IMC has monitored the program of 27 Audio-Visual Media Service Providers (TV), out of which 3 with national terrestrial coverage, 16 with local / regional terrestrial coverage, and 8 that operate through distribution operators. It turned out 8 to be in violation, against which sanctioning measures have been undertaken in accordance to the Law on IMC. Additional monitoring was conducted against these Audio-Visual Media Service Providers and based on the findingswere undertakenlegal actions. Violations found based on monitoring were related to improper categorisation of programs, failure to warn on programs with detrimental content and non-use of signs and pictograms,as defined in the Regulation.

These violations were also discussed in the regular regional meetings that IMC has organised with its licensee. IMC remains concerned about the small amount of programs for children and juveniles, especially educational ones in the program scheme of the licensees.

The Independent Media Commission requests from Audio-Visual Media Service Providers to be careful when broadcasting television programs and to ensure that these programs comply with  legal provisions of the above-mentioned regulations, especially on content that constitutes forms of discrimination, intolerance, incitement to hatred, inappropriate language, unjustifiable scenes of violence, provocative and erotic scenes, promoting the use of narcotic substances and other issues which may have  negative impact on children and juveniles.

IMC considers that for prevention of such broadcasts, in addition to the commitment and measures undertaken by the regulator, is required commitment, attention and evidence of professionalism from the side of IMC licensees, respecting ethical principles and acting in accordance to the Law on IMC and the bylaws.