Lebanon cautions TV channels over content

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 23-10-2011

Content broadcast by four local television channels has received official criticism by Lebanese authorities after drawing complaints from religious and civil figures.
LBC International, MTV, Future TV and OTV have all been asked to review the content of their social and political programmes before transmitting them, and been warned that any failure to abide by the National Audiovisual Media Council regulations could hinder the renewal of their broadcasting licences, according to Lebanon's Daily Star.
"Some of the programmes discussed controversial sexual topics," Abdel-Hadi Mahfouz Mahfouz, president of the National Audiovisual Media Council is quoted as telling The Daily Star.
OTV's weekly entertainment show LOL, an episode on sex education on LBCI's social talk show Ahmar Bil-Khat al-Arid, and Future TV's social talk show Sireh Winfatahet earlier in October broadcast "unethical" content, representing a "violation of the audiovisual laws," said Mahfouz.
"Let it be clear that from now on, all such violations will be taken into consideration and the council will not renew the licenses of channels that violate the rules," he told the newspaper.
Following the proclamation, Samir Kassir Eyes, the Centre for Media and Cultural Freedom in Beirut called "on the government and the Information Ministry to review the council's decision and avoid harming freedom of expression."