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LAW ON RADIO-TELEVISION OF THE FEDERATION OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

“Official Gazette” of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 25/02

“Official Gazette” of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 13/02

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Status of the Company

Article 3

(1) RTV FBiH shall have the status of an independent public broadcaster for the Federation.

(2) The Law on Business Companies shall be applied to the performance and activities of RTV FBiH unless otherwise specified in this Law.

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Independence of RTV FBiH

Article 5

RTV FBiH shall be independent in its operations and shall have editorial independence and institutional autonomy especially in areas such as:

- The conception and production of programmes;

- The definition of programme schedules;

- The editing and presentation of news and current affairs programmes;

- The usage and disposal of assets;

- Employment practices and rights and obligations of employees;

- The organisation of the activities and internal structure.

Public Broadcasting System

Article 6

RTV FBiH, together with Radio-Television of Republika Srpska (hereinafter: RT RS) and the Public Broadcasting Service of Bosnia and Heregovina (hereinafter: PBS BiH), constitute the Public Broadcasting System of Bosnia and Herzegovina in accordance with the Law on the Basis of the Public Broadcasting System and on the Public Broadcasting Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Equal Ethnic Representation

Article 9

RTV FBiH shall, in its operations and its staff structure, implement the relevant Constitutional provisions regarding the equal rights of constituent peoples and others.

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Programming Principles

Article 13

(1) RTV FBiH’s programming shall serve the public interest and shall be in accordance with professional standards and rules and regulations of CRA.  RTV FBiH shall be obliged to ensure diverse and balanced radio and television programmes that meet high standards of ethics and quality, that show respect for human life, dignity and the physical integrity of persons, and that foster democratic freedoms, social justice and international understanding and peace.

(2) RTV FBiH’s programming shall include information, culture, education and entertainment.

(3) The programmes of RTV FBiH shall take into account national, regional, traditional, religious, cultural, linguistic and other specific features of the constituent peoples and all citizens of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The programmes of RTV FBiH shall also serve cultural and other needs of national minorities in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

(4) RTV FBiH shall produce and edit programmes in accordance with the highest professional criteria and with respect for artistic and creative licence, independent of the opinions of governmental bodies, political parties and/or other interested groups. 

(5) RTV FBiH shall have the right to broadcast sessions or parts of sessions of the Federation Parliament, i.e., to inform the public on parliamentary activities in any suitable manner, in accordance with its editorial guidelines. For that purpose, RTV FBiH shall have free access to the sessions of the Federation Parliament.

(6) RTV FBiH shall be obliged to publicly present its annual programme plans as well as reports on the realisation of previous programme plans.  Everyone has the right to submit to RTV FBiH objections and suggestions related thereto.

Realisation of Programming Principles

Article 14

(1) In the realisation of fundamental programming principles, RTV FBiH shall in particular do as follows:

- Inform the public in a truthful, complete, impartial and timely manner of political, economic, educational, scientific, religious, cultural, sport and other events;

- Ensure an open and free discussion on issues of the public interest, taking into account the universality of appeal;

- Respect and promote pluralism of political, religious and other ideas;

- Treat impartially all political, economic, educational, scientific, religious, cultural and other issues in order to enable equal presentation of different viewpoints with a view to fostering democratic spirit, mutual understanding and tolerance;

- Foster and develop all forms of creative capacities that contribute to the development of culture, art and entertainment.

(2) RTV FBiH shall observe the Programming Code of the Public Broadcasting System in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which regulates basic principles of editorial policy in accordance with the highest professional criteria. 

(3) News shall be unbiased, independent and correct.  Before dissemination, information material comprising the news must be examined, with reasonable care, according to circumstances, as to its content, origin and truth.  Commentary shall be clearly distinguished from news.

Programming Restrictions

Article 15

(1) RTV FBiH shall not broadcast any material which by its content or tone incites national, religious or racial hatred, intolerance or discrimination against individuals or groups, or which by any reasonable judgment could incite violence, disorder or rioting or could encourage crime or criminal activity.

(2) RTV FBiH shall not violate general community standards of decency and civility in programme content and scheduling, taking particular care to protect the psychophysical development of children.

(3) RTV FBiH shall not broadcast any material that they know to be false or by prudent and routine inquiry it could determine to be false, or if reasonable grounds exist to assume that it is false.

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Advertising Principles

Article 17

(1) Advertisements shall be clearly identifiable as such and clearly separated from other programmes by visual and acoustic means. 

(2) The person or organisation placing an advertisement may not influence the programme concept, content or editorial policy of RTV FBiH.

(3) RTV FBiH shall be entitled to refuse to broadcast an advertisement the contents of which are in contravention of programming principles defined herein, or other rules and regulations governing public advertising.

(4) Persons regularly presenting news and current affairs programmes may not participate in process of preparation, production or broadcast of advertisements.

(5) Indirect and subliminal advertising shall not be allowed.

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Advertising in Election Campaigns

Article 19

(1) The broadcasting of propaganda messages of political parties and candidates shall not be allowed, except during official election campaigns, in accordance with the Election Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina and pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

(2) During the election campaign RTV FBiH shall be obliged to enable political parties and candidates to present their election programmes under equal terms.  Radio and television must allocate a portion of their programming schedule for presentation of candidates, political parties and their programmes free of charge.

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Sponsorship

Article 21

(1) Sponsorship of news and current affairs programmes shall not be allowed.

(2) All sponsored programmes must be clearly distinguished as such.

(3) Any influence of a sponsor or advertiser on the contents of a programme shall not be allowed.

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Right of Reply

Article 24

(1) Any person whose legal rights are affected or whose honour and reputation are harmed by a statement of fact broadcast by RTV FBiH shall be entitled to give a reply, within fifteen (15) days of the broadcasted statement.

(2) Replies shall be submitted to RTV FBiH in written form and reduced to facts. Each reply must be signed by the party concerned or by his or her legal representative.

(3) RTV FBiH, at its discretion, has the right to shorten the reply and to remove any defamatory or criminal content from it, complying with the content thereof.  RTV FBiH has the right to refuse to broadcast the reply if it is unrelated to the broadcasted statement.

(4) If the reply is related to the daily news programme, RTV FBiH shall be obliged to broadcast it, free of charge, not later than three (3) days from the receipt thereof, in the manner and at the time when the information to which the reply refers was broadcast. If the reply is related to periodic programming it must be broadcast, also free of charge, in the first following programme.

(5) If RTV FBiH fails to broadcast the reply or fails to do it in an appropriate manner, the person described in paragraph (1) of this Article shall be entitled to file a complaint with the Board of Governors within eight (8) days of the date when the deadline to broadcast the reply expired.

(6) If the person who filed a complaint is not satisfied with a decision of the Board of Governors, he/she shall be entitled to request court protection in civil proceedings within fifteen (15) days of the date of receipt of a written decision, or within thirty (30) days of the date when the complaint was filed, if no decision was taken or if it was not delivered to him/her.

(7) RTV FBiH may refuse to broadcast the reply if the person concerned has no legal interest in its dissemination or if the request for a reply was not submitted promptly.

Corrections

Article 25

The procedures laid down with regard to the Right of Reply shall be applied to requests for the correction of false statements of fact.

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