30 January 1998

Alert

Community radio is approved in Brazil with restrictive legislation


Incident details

legal action


(AMARC/IFEX) - On 27 January 1998, the Education Commission of the Brazilian
Senate approved, without ammendments, the bill which will regulate community
radio stations. The text was approved in the same form it arrived from the
House of Congress. If it is maintained without any modifications in the
plenary, it will be sent rapidly for presidential approval. According to the
bill, all community radio stations will have a capacity of 25 watts
modulated frequecy. Licences will only be given to foundations or non-profit
associations.=20





** Complete Portuguese text of AMARC-Brazil press release is appended.
Version completa del boletin de prensa de AMARC-Brasil a continuacion.
Versao completa do boletim de prensa da AMARC/Brasil a continuacao**


The Union of Broadcasting Networks for Democracy, UNIRR/AMARC-Brazil, has
been denouncing the proposed legislation for over a year, arguing that it
creates serious restrictions on the activities of community radio stations
including:

  • prohibiting advertising, referring only to sponsorships in the form of
    cultural support
  • establishing one frequency for each region, without a clear definition=
    of
    the concept of a "region"
  • limiting the power of the transmitters to 25 watts
  • prohibiting under any circumstances the formation of broadcast networks
  • requiring that a station's directors be residents of the community where
    the transmitter is located


    All indications are that there will be no attempts to alter the text of the
    law in the plenary and that it will receive the approval of President
    Fernando Cardoso in the next few weeks.


    AMARC-Brazil points out that several serious questions arise out of this new
    situation. One is the question of the status of the stations that received
    favorable legal decisions in the past from judges who, in the majority of
    cases, ruled that the exercise of community broadcasting is a legal right -
    one that was, until now, unregulated. AMARC-Brazil is concerned about what
    guarantees there are that these stations will receive the new licences? It
    is also concerned about what will happen in the cases where there are
    several community stations in the same place, if only one frequency is
    permitted per region.


    COMUNICADO DE PRENSA - BRASIL


    RADIOS COMUNITARIAS SAO APROVADAS NO BRASIL
    COM PROJETO RESTRITIVO


    A comissao de Educacao do Senando brasileiro, aprovou hoje, sem=20
    emendas, o projeto que regulamenta as radios comunitarias. O texto
    foi aprovado da forma como veio da Camara, e se for mantido sem
    modificacoes no plenario sera enviado rapidamente a sancao=20
    presidencial. Pelo projeto, cada emissora de radio tera a potencia
    maxima de 25 Watts em frequencia modulada. A concessao sera dada
    apenas a fundacoes ou associacoes sem fins lucrativos. Como a UNIRR/
    AMARC-Brasil ja vem denunciando a mais de um ano, o projeto cria
    graves restricoes a atividade dos radiodifusores comunitarios:=20
    1. proibe a veiculacao de publicidade (fala apenas em patrocinio na forma
    de apoio cultural);
    2. estabelece uma frequencia para cada regiao (sem deixar claro o conceito
    de regiao);
    3. limita a potencia dos transmissores a 25 w;
    4. proibe, sob qualquer circunstancia, a formacao de redes e
    5. obriga os dirigentes da emissora a serem moradores na comunidade
    aonde esta localizado o transmissor.


    Ao que tudo indica, nao havera nenhuma tentativa de alteracao do
    texto no plen=E1rio e o projeto devera receber a assinatura do Presidente
    da Republica, Fernando Henrique Cardosos, nas proximas semanas.


    Um outro desafio que surge a partir deste momento para as Radios=20
    comunitarias brasileiras e o seguinte: como ficam as situacoes das
    emissoras comunitarias que conseguiram medidas judiciais favoraveis se os
    juizes deferiram em favor das nossas radios, na maioria dos casos, por
    considerarem o exec=EDcio da radiodifusao comunitaria um direito legitimo,=
    =20
    porem ate entao nao regulamentado? Quem pode garantir que essas=20
    emissoras serao recebedoras das novas autorgas? E como ficam as=20
    situacoes de emissoras diferentes, com propostas comunitarias, de um
    mesmo lugar, se o projeto preve apenas uma frequencia por regiao?


    Sao bons temas para refletir e agir.


    Sempre querendo e lutando por uma boa sintonia,


    Marcus Aur=E9lio de Carvalho

    Val=E9ria Mendon=E7a

    Pela Coordena=E7ao UNIRR/AMRC-Brasil






  • Source

    World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters
    705, rue Bourget, bureau 100, Montreal
    Qubec, H4C 2M6
    Canada
    secgen (@) si.amarc.org
    Fax:+1 514 8497129
    Brazil

    IFEX members working in this country 1

     
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