Minister of Communication, Government Spokesman, Ammar Belhimer, revealed, on Thursday, that there are 50 TV channels in Algeria that operate outside the law and under foreign cover.
Speaking during the session answering the oral questions of MPs at the National People’s Assembly (APN), Mr Belhimer stated that only 6 TV channels have ad hoc accreditation. The minister explained that the accreditation granted for these channels, has enabled them to have bona-fide offices in Algeria.
Ammar Belhimer, stressed to this effect that one of the major tasks of the sector’s action plan is to regulate and organize the activity of private television channels, saying that this “emergency” is dictated by the treatment of national news “subjective and unethical”, observed by some channels.
“The urgency to regulate this activity is dictated by the “subjective and unethical, even subversive” treatment of some private channels against our country,” he said at the APN.
An approach that “will allow the supervision of private television channels by Algerian law” and “will also contribute to improving the exploitation of the capacity of the +Alcomsat-1+ satellite,” he added.
He explained, in this regard, that “the revision of the organic law on information will inevitably lead to the revision of the law on audiovisual, particularly with regard to the expansion of the audiovisual field to the private sector to include general channels and no longer “thematic”, as they are unfairly dubbed today”.
Mr Belhimer indicated, in this respect, that these private television channels, numbering fifty (50) and aimed at the Algerian public, are “governed by foreign law”.
“Only six (6) channels have been provisionally accredited for the opening of representative offices in Algeria,” he said, recalling on this subject that “these accreditations do not in any way represent authorizations for the creation of private television channels”.
He recalled, in this context, that pursuant to the law relating to audiovisual activity which represents the legal framework organizing the audiovisual field, public and private channels operating in Algeria are “framed by three regulatory texts which are still ineffective”.
These are the “executive decree fixing the conditions and modalities of implementation of the call for applications for the granting of authorization to create a thematic audiovisual communication service”, the “executive decree fixing the amount and modalities of payment of the financial counterpart linked to the authorization to create a thematic audiovisual communication service” and the “executive decree on the general specifications fixing the rules applicable to any television or sound broadcasting service”.
He said: “We recorded with regret that some channels broadcast advertising flashes and programs contrary to the principles of society, harmful to the viewer’s psyche, especially the child.”
The Minister further specified that the legal status of private TV channels will be revised in this wake, describing the latter as “off shore channels that work according to external legislation”.
Mr. Belhimer also stated that in 2021 the press sector will operate better “on a transparent and sound basis”, as he put it.