Local radio and TV stations could air messages promoting reading, according to a measure in the project Pactul pentru Carte (The Pact for Books), a legislative package aimed at increasing the book consumption in Romania over the next two years.
Broadcasters would air the messages as a public service, for a period of four months per year, three times per day. One message would be aired during the day’s main news shows, according to the project which brings changes to the Audio-Visual Law. The content of the messages is to be designed by the Culture Ministry in a partnership with the National Audiovisual Council.
The proposal, which belongs to National Liberal Party (PNL) deputy Ovidiu Raeţchi, was registered with the Chamber of Deputies. The Senate is the deciding chamber on it.
The share of local adults reading at least a book per year is continuously dropping and is currently under 30%, below the EU average, according to a 2017 survey of the European Publishers Federation, quoted by Raeţchi. Furthermore, the Romanians spend on average only EUR 4 per year to buy books, according to the same source. The value of the local book market does not exceed EUR 100 million per year.
This March, Raeţchi announced The Pact for Books, covering such measures as increasing and updating the book endowment of school libraries, implementing campaigns that encourage reading, and the lifting of the VAT for printed books and its decrease to 5% for electronic books.
Together with former culture minister, Vlad Alexandrescu, now a senator of the Save Romania Union (USR), Raeţchi initiated a project to declare 2019 The Year of the Book. The project aims to encourage reading in schools, and entails meetings between school students and writers and public personalities who would read fragments from various literary works.