Photo: The December 7th demonstration in Brussels (Credit: Emmanual Dunand, AFP)
By Ot Serra
December 18th, 2017
The Central Electoral Board agreed on Tuesday to open a sanctioning charge sheet against TV3 for the news coverage of the demonstration held in Brussels on December 7th. The decision responds to an appeal by the Partido Popular (PP) in which they requested that the Catalan public television be fined, after the Provincial Electoral Board of Barcelona had already acceded to an appeal by the PP in which it considered that TV3 had dedicated too much time to coverage of the pro-independence demonstrations in the Belgian capital. In addition, the PP also demanded to be compensated, with similar coverage (measured in minutes), on TV3, but the Board did not approve this request, justifying this decision by saying it did not have sufficient information to calculate the imbalance of time between the PP and the parties whose supporters participated in the demonstration.
The Board has agreed to open another sanctioning charge sheet against TV3, again at the request of the PP, for the coverage of the concert in support of the freedom of political prisoners which took place at the Olympic Stadium in Montjuïc, in Barcelona, recently. They asserted that the treatment made by the ‘Telenotícies por la noche’ violates the principle of informative neutrality and referred to the original decision by the Provincial Electoral Board.
On the other hand, regarding the CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy, a pro-independence anti-capitalist party) election spot which RTVE refused to air, in which they dedicated their time to asking for freedom for political prisoners – the Central Electoral Board contradicted the original ruling of the Provincial Board and ruled in favour of Spanish National Television. The Board argued that RTVE received the spot too late before broadcast time, and pointed out that the channel would have preffered to have at least 48 hours notice, to consult on the legality of the content, before airing. If the spot had arrived with them 48 hours before its broadcast, as RTVE had requested, for technical reasons, RTVE would have had time to receive legal clarity and could have aired it, the Board ruled. Thus, they revoked the decision taken by the Provincial Electoral Board and the CUP will not be compensated.