IMI emergency phone line: lockdown, commute, online work
During April 2020, IMI lawyers provided 27 legal consultations for journalists and mass media. Of these, 13 requests have been related to quarantine and work of edition in these conditions. These are the findings of the IMI emergency phone line.
In particular, journalists contacted us about the legality of denial of access to some or other meetings of the authorities and local councils under the pretext of quarantine. The media professionals asked how to work online, how to collect information and to prove its reliability in the future in such conditions.
Many issues were also related to free movement of journalists during lockdown. The mass media wanted clarifications as to what is the "public place" as to the current legislation.
Traditionally, there have been many questions about the police's response to offenses against journalists. Thus, IMI lawyers explained what is the procedure for accepting complaints of offenses and the ways to appeal against the inaction of law enforcement agencies. The lawyers also advised journalists on how to act during the investigation, what rights the victims have and how they can influence the improvement of the quality and timeliness of the investigation. It was explained how the journalist could take his personal data from the police, in particular the IMEI code of his mobile phone.
Some "ordinary" questions, which are constantly asked by the journalists, also remained relevant. In particular, in which cases and how exactly should the information be refuted in the media, if it turned out to be unreliable, and what actions of the person requesting the refutation are illegal. We found out in what language the advertisement on the print media’ website should be published and who will be responsible in case of violation.
In addition, journalists consulted on restrictions on the display of audiovisual works produced by the aggressor country, including animated films, on Ukrainian TV channels and possible liability for such a demonstration. They asked about the legal status and specificities of the work of a journalist who is registered as an individual entrepreneur and works not with one media outlet, but with many. They asked us to clarify the provisions of labor law, in particular in the case of reduction of the staff of the media. They asked about peculiarities of the legal status of the blog on the Youtube platform.
There were also some unusual consultations. For example, answering to one of the appeals, IMI lawyers had to, in fact, develop a business plan to build a web department in the print media and design an online publication as a web appendix to a registered print media.
It should be noted that journalists, mass media and other participants of information relations can contact IMI legal hotline for legal avice as to the issues related to the legal regulation of the collection, storage and dissemination of information, in particular on the Internet. Legal advice is provided by media lawyers Roman Golovenko and Ali Safarov by phone 050-44-77-063 . Questions can also be sent to IMI e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .