Broadcasting watchdog sanctions 3 stations over failure to comply with 'deaf-friendly' rules

Three broadcasters – Teleradio Balti, Teleradio Gagauzia and TVC 21 – have been sanctioned on Tuesday by the Broadcasting Coordination Council (BCC) for the failure to ensure access to information to the persons with hearing impairments, Info-Prim Neo reports. Following a monitoring of broadcasters, the BCC found that only the channels Moldova 1 and NIT have fully complied with the requirements of the Broadcasting Code, providing finger-spelling translation to newscasts. Other channels use only subtitles for this purpose. PRO TV and TV 7 provide subtitled newscasts, while N4 subtitles only one program – “Flash Obiectiv”. Euro TV channel does provide subtitles, but they do not match the on-screen action. BCC deputy chair Valeriu Frumusachi expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that a number of channels in Moldova, although well-situated financially, failed to comply with the decision of the Council. Carmelia Albot, a BCC member, suggested that all broadcasters, except NIT and Moldova 1, should be sanctioned. Art 13.4 of the Broadcasting Code states that the access of the persons with hearing impairments to televised programs of major importance and of present interest shall be ensured through gesture translation at least 20 minutes of the time alloted to programs on a television station. The BCC has adopted a decision effective on May 1, ordering all the channels to provide gesture translation to the programs of major importance and to newscasts. The BCC has also alloted a grace period during which broadcasters may just subtitle newscasts or their summaries.

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