5.3.7 Mass media
The Law on Advertising (2000), the Law on Provision of Information to the Public (1996, amended in 2000), and the Convention on "Television without Borders" (ratified in 2000) set out the guidelines on the use of advertising in television and radio programmes, cinemas and video-studios.
The state and independent radio and TV stations are regulated by the Law on Provision of Information to the Public. According to this law, radio and televisions broadcasting companies (except the National Radio and National Television) are subject to the licensing requirements of the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania (RTCL). Licenses are granted by the Commission through a competition. Priority is given to broadcasters which pledge to provide original cultural, informative and educational programmes. Broadcasters are placed under restriction concerning programmes deemed erotic and / or violent. However, the situation in licensing of broadcasters is not satisfactory.
The difficulties in broadcasting are related to controversial legal articles. An existing system to ensure the priorities of public service broadcasting against commercial broadcasting is insufficient in Lithuania. The following statement by foreign experts on the broadcasting situation provides a good summary: "Lithuanian legal framework is not explicit on how this priority [of public service broadcasters] is given and how the necessary frequencies are assigned" (see: Radio and Television in Lithuania. 2003, p. 78).