BUCHAREST (Reuters Life!) - Romania’s Senate has ordered television and radio stations to air more “happy” news, arguing too much gloom is making people ill.
According to a draft law which still needs the approval of President Traian Basescu, broadcasters will have to give equal time to “positive” and “negative” issues in their newscasts.
The plan’s initiators, a deputy from the ruling Liberal Party and a member of the opposition far-right Greater Romania Party, said negative news has an “extraordinarily harmful and irreversible impact on health”.
The Senate approved the law unanimously.
One senator, from the opposition Social Democrat Party (PSD), argued newscasts show too much of the “dark side of life”.
“I have not seen news about farming that would show how to tend to crops, I have seen nothing positive from the economy or education,” Petre Daea was quoted saying by HotNews website (www.hotnews.ro).
Media watch groups and the state broadcast regulator CNA have urged Basescu to veto the bill.
Romania, which joined the European Union last year, is struggling with widespread poverty and corruption.
Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Matthew Jones