Law on Social Responsibility on Radio and Television
The Law on Social Responsibility on Radio and Television (Ley de Responsabilidad Social en Radio y Televisión, known as the LRS or the Ley Resorte) is a Venezuelan law, adopted by the National Assembly and in force since 7 December 2004.
Its purpose is to establish a legal framework for the social responsibility of radio and television broadcasters, national and independent producers of radio and TV programming, and viewers and listeners in the dissemination and reception of transmitted information. Its stated aim is to "strike a democratic balance between duties, rights, and interests, in order to promote social justice and further the development of the citizenry, democracy, peace, human rights, education, culture, public health, and the nation's social and economic development."
Its objectives, stated in Article 3, are: “[securing] respect for freedom of expression and information without censorship”; “[furthering] the actual exercise of and respect for human rights”; “[facilitating] the broadcasting of information and materials intended for minors”; “[furthering] the broadcasting of national productions and [encouraging] the development of the national audiovisual industry”; “[facilitating]the dissemination of the values of the Venezuelan culture”; and “[furthering]public participation.”
Article 4 of the law calls for respect for indigenous languages and accessibility of programming for people with disabilities through subtitles and sign language translation.
Article 14 supports national production of TV and radio content - including music - by requiring broadcasters to transmit a certain amount of Venezuelan-made content each day.
The government called it a "building block for the modernization of the country's communications sector", whereas the opposition believes it increases state control over the media.
The law's purpose is to instruct the Venezuelan television networks to air cultural content and to establish schedules for each category of the series and programs. The rating for each program is based on four content types: Language, health, sex, and violence; when a program is about to be broadcast, these content issues can either be announced with their respective "level measure" or not, depending on the channel's way to show the advice. Also, depending on the schedule and the advised contents, the program may either be suitable, in need of parental guidance or non-suitable for young children and teenagers. It is also specified if the series is a national production (made by the channel), an independent national production (made by a separate company) or an international production (a foreign program).
Likewise, every network is instructed to air the government's teasers, their political campaigns and to interrupt the usual schedule when national announcements by the President of the Republic, known as Cadenas ("Chains", referring to the fact that every radio and TV network must air simultaneously these announcements) are about to be broadcast.
- The original version of this article was translated, with minor changes, from the corresponding article on the Spanish-language Wikipedia.
- Ley de Responsabilidad Social en Radio y Televisión Full text of law (Spanish)
- Angel Luis Olivera Soto, "Prior Restraints in Venezuela's Social Responsibility on Radio and Television Act: Are they Justified?" 40 Geo. Wash. Int'l L. Rev. 401 (2008).