Mongolian Passed a Law on Public Radio and TV (PRTV)

On 27 January 2005 State Ih Hural- Mongolian Parliament has passed a Law on Public Radio and TV. According to this law, which will come into force from 1 April 2005, the present state-owned Mongolian National Radio and TV shall be re-strustered as public service broadcaster. The law is contributing to the ensurance of citizen's right and freedom to freely express opinions and it is also an important step towards to the pracrical implementation of 1998 media Freedom Law and constitutional concept.

In accordance with provision 2.1 public radio and televison is non-profit-making legal entity that serving the public, operate under public control and be responsible to the public.

PRTV shall be an independent from any organization, person and political parties and forces.

The present state property, except transmission equipment will be public and transferred to the new public radio and TV, so referring to this provision the Parliament also has enacted a Law on Transfer of State Property to Public Property on 28 January 2005. The new law obliges the government to transfer state property with costs of 5,521,063,029 MNT to the new public radio and television.

The highest governing body- National Counsil of PRTV shall consist from 17 members and 9 of them shall be nominated by NGOs, of which legal grounds are provided by the law, 2 by the Government, 2 by the President and 4 by the Parliament.

The new law provides mixed funding of PRTV. Main financial source shall be license fees, state subsidies, sponsorship, revenues from advertising and other sources permitted by laws. Advertising is restricted as 2% of daily broadcasting time. Size of license fees shall be fixed by the government and annual budget of PRTV shall be approved by the Parliament.

PRTV shall establish Compliant and Supervisory Committees and it may have Advisory Board

PRTV is obliged to produce and transmit programmes covering various social life such as politics, economics, science, culture, art and sports at professional and technical high standards. The law prohibits to produce and transmit programmes that distributing terrorism, discrimination, war, obscenity, violence and that affect person's reputation and honour.

H.Naranjargal, President of Globe International was interviewed by daily newspaper Unen (The Truth), UBS (Ulaanbaatar Broadcasting System) and EBC (Eagle Boradcasting Company) and she has expressed her opinon on strengthens and weakness of the new law. According to her PSB legislation provides some positive points on guaranteeing journalist' right to access information and protect information sources. The law is good that it also guaratees citizen's right to reply.

In her opinion the law is weak in some points. For example, the process of nomination and appointment of National Counsil is not clear and it is not transparent, and open to the public. It also does not provide mechanisms of responsiveness and public's right to control. She also concerns on provision 3.3, which states that PRTV shall be re-structuried (combination, transformation, division, dissolution) and its purpose and principles shall be changed by the law. It is the most dangerious tendency- she said.

PSB legislation, which has been one of priorities of politians and the public since 1992 and has not been discussed for long time. Mongolian NGOs- Globe International, Open Forum and Press Institute have taken big contribution to make PSB legislation real. It is a result of partnership and support of our international donors and partners such as OSI networks, MFOS, UNESCO, ARTICLE 19 and others.

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