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PRESS RELEASE Juli 23, 2007

Posted by jrki in Uncategorized.
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For immediate release – 23 July 2007

AMARC and ARTICLE 19 Call on Inter-American Commission to Address Problems of Broadcast Regulation in the Americas

On 18 July 2007 AMARC, ARTICLE 19 and the Legal and Social Studies Center (CELS) participated in a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the subject of broadcast regulation. The purpose of the hearing was to highlight the implications of international and regional standards on freedom of expression for broadcast regulation, as well as serious failures within the Americas to respect those standards.

The presentations focused on the obligation of States to ensure that regulation of broadcasting is undertaken by bodies which are independent of government and the need for regulation to guarantee broadcast pluralism and diversity in terms of ownership, types of outlets and content.

The presentations also focused on the failure of many States in the Americas to take a public interest approach to broadcast regulation, instead allowing commercial considerations to dominate. This has led to a situation where public service broadcasters are weak or non-existent in most States, where community broadcasters face enormous hurdles and where the idea of public obligations for commercial broadcasters is almost unknown.

To address this situation, the three organizations asked the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to undertake a study elaborating on the implications of the right to freedom of expression for broadcast regulation, as well as the compatibility of law and practice in the region with those standards; to provide authoritative standard-setting guidance to States on how to ensure respect for Article 13 in relation to broadcast regulation; and to request the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to highlight this issue in his 2007 Annual Report to the Commission.

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • The Submission is available at: http://www.article19.org/pdfs/analysis/broadcasting-regs.pdf
  • For more information, please contact Toby Mendel, Law/Asia Programmes Director, +1 902 431-3688, a19law@hfx.eastlink.ca.
  • ARTICLE 19 is an independent human rights organization that works around the world to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression. It takes its name from Article 19 of the Universal declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression.

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