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Media Movement backed Media Bill, but called to amend several controversial provisions

13.07.2020, 13:18

The “Media Movement for Conscious Choice” and its signatories expressed their support for the draft law "On Media", prepared for the second reading ( №2693-d of 02.07.2020), but at the same time, they call to amend several provisions that caused a negative reaction of the media community.

The need to update the media legislation is long overdue. The current law regulating mass media had been adopted in the 1990s and it doesn’t take into account new challenges, including military aggression by a neighbour country or development of information technology. In particular, the current legislation of Ukraine does not define the status of online media (online media), contains some outdated rules for printed press and news agencies, and so on. Ukraine must also regulate the activities of broadcasters in accordance with European legislation. That’s why, the need to establish new regulation is urgent for the society. 

We note some significant work and major changes have been done, compared to the first reading’s wording of the draft Law "On Media" ( №2693 of 27.12.2019). We strongly welcome amendments made, including protection of Ukrainian language, decommunization, restriction of infor,qtion influence by the aggressor country, exclusion of owners hidden in offshore zones from the ownership structure, and so on.

At the same time, this project has certain provisions that caused a negative reaction of the media community. Unfortunately, the Media Movement is obliged to say that these provisions remained unchanged or underwent only some cosmetic changes even in the edition of the repeated first reading.

The main problems of the draft law "On Media", as to opinion of Media Movement, are:

  1. The National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting has too much ample powers to regulate and control the dissemination of information, not only as to broadcasters, but also regarding any information activity, including the dissemination of information by printed press, unregistered online media, bloggers and social media contributors.
  2. Introduction of the institution of co-regulation without any clear definition of the powers of the participants in such co-regulation and the division of powers between them.
  3. Purely declarative norms on compliance with professional standards of journalism.
  4. Preservation of old non-efficacious legislation that should prevent excessive concentration of audiovisual media in the hands of one owner.

Given the above, the Media Movement addresses a demand to the MPs,asking to finalize the draft law "On Media", prepared for the second reading (2693-d of 02.07.2020). 

For their part, media NGOs that are members of the Media Movement are preparing their proposals with amendments to this bill, ready to submit it to the working group and MPs, and plan to publish their proposals in the near future. 

It will be recalled that the Media Movement was initiated by the Independent Media Council, Hromadske Radio, Detector Media NGO, Institute of Mass Information NGO, Internews-Ukraine NGO, Center for Democracy and the Rule of Law, Suspilinist Foundation, Independent Association of Broadcasters, Donetsk Institute of Information, Pylyp Orlyk Institute of Democracy NGO. 

The first signatories of the Media Movement memorandum were UA: Pershiy, Ukrainian Radio, Hromadske Radio, IA Ukrinform, IA Interfax-Ukraine, Liga.net, Dzerkalo Tyzhnya. Ukraina, Novoe Vremya, Censor.net, 5 Kanal, Ukrainsky Tyzhden, and a number of regional media, public organizations and individual journalists - a total of more than 70 signatories.

The media movement was created on February 5, 2019.

You can join the Media Movement or support it by contacting the coordinator Vadym Misky: vadim.miskyi@gmail.com.

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