Mission - Role

The safeguarding of the right to free expression is at the heart of the mission of the Cyprus Radio and Television Authority. In addition to defending freedom of expression, the Cyprus Radio and Television Authority ensures that broadcasters operate having in mind the public interest. In that respect and to protect human rights and avoid harming viewers / listeners, it is necessary to lay down specific conditions and restrictions. The need for regulation in the audiovisual sector arises from a variety of reasons relating both to the role, nature, and mission of broadcasting and to the fact that radio waves are part of the national wealth. Therefore, the exploitation of the frequency spectrum must aim in safeguarding the public interest and maximize social benefit. The need for regulation is aimed at safeguarding:

  • the right to freedom of expression, which must be exercised in a way that does not infringe the rights of others.
  • free and pluralistic information, as a prerequisite for opinion formation and decision-making.
  • transparency of ownership of media service providers to preclude the creation of oligopolistic and/or monopolistic tendencies.
  • the Mass Media from undesirable persons.

The Cyprus Radio and Television Authority must protect the public and especially vulnerable groups. The media, and especially television, have a significant influence on the psychosocial development of citizens, especially minors. The language and mediums used by broadcasters are specific and may easily mislead and/or harm less literate citizens in media matters. While the viewer / listener receives the messages via television and radio, he does not always have the time to filter and judge them. Most of the times this acts upon the viewer / listener in a way that he does not realize it.

The European concept of broadcasting is based on the idea that the entry of television and radio in every household must be done with respect and compliance with the rules and habits of a family. Therefore, the content of radio and television programmes should be suitable for all family members during the watershed (family zone). The above concept underpins the concept of the family zone, within which only programmes suitable for general viewing should be broadcast. Children are at the heart of the Authority's responsibility for the protection of the public. Protection against inappropriate content/ programs aims to ensure their proper physical, mental and moral development. The Radio and Television Organizations (Amendment) (No.2) Law of 2021 provides more complete protection of minors from harmful content, both in audiovisual media services and video sharing platform services. The most harmful content, such as gratuitous violence and pornography, is subject to the strictest measures.

In addition to regulating television and radio, since 2021 the Authority is responsible – inter alia – for assessing the appropriateness of the measures (procedural and technical) to be taken by video-sharing platforms under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus. Such measures shall aim to protect minors and/or the general public from programmes, user-generated videos and audiovisual commercial communications which (i) may impair the physical, mental or moral development of minors, (ii) incite violence or hatred against any person, group of persons or member of such a group, and (iii) the dissemination of their content constitutes a criminal act, namely public provocation to commit a terrorist offence; an offence of child pornography, and an offence of racism and xenophobia.