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Media watchdog urges Parliament, Gov't to transparent debates on fate of public media services

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Active Watch media watchdog is complaining about what it calls Parliament and the Government hiding from the public their debates on the TVR national television broadcasting corporation, saying that on Tuesday NGOs, trade unions and mass-media were refused access to a debate on the public television broadcaster held by Parliament's joint committees on culture and budget and Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos

Active Watch says the Senate told it the decision came as a result of a request from the Government. 

"We believe that obstructing access to the debate is an act of aggression against free access to information of public interest, which is an unacceptable measure generating suspicions over the possibility of agreements lacking in transparency on the future of the public television broadcaster. The decision is all the more outrageous, as less than one week ago, Romania's Parliament debated in full public display a presumed violation of the freedom to expression that allegedly happened against a private broadcaster," Active Watch says in a press statement released on Tuesday. 

The NGO say the SRTV and the SRR public radio broadcasting corporation are organisations of major interest to the society which existence is enshrined in the Constitution and that use public resources to secure the citizens' right to information. 

"Any official debate on the fate of the public media services is of public interest and it should be conducted transparently and also to involve as large public categories as possible. In continuation of our urge this morning to salvage the public television broadcaster, we are urging Parliament and the Government to show respect to the tax paying public and debate transparently the fate of the public media services as part of an as large consultations possible," says Active Watch. AGERPRES

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