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New media law to define terms for criminal liability for mass media

18.11.2019, 16:35

The parliamentary Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy proposed to set up the terms of criminal responsibility for spreading misinformation in mass media. This is fixed in the concept of the Media Law, as it was presented on November 13, as Ukrinform reported.

In particular, the MPs proposed to prosecute journalists for deliberate misinformation in cases when it obviously damages some interests, in case of intentional spreading of paid-for misinformation, if there is no actual damage, for systematic deliberate misinformation,for propaganda and justification of terrorism and hatred (hate speech).

The bill also envisages strengthening the "right to reply" and "the right to refute", along with the responsibility for not granting such a right. The bill encourages the voluntary refuting of misinformation, revealing of information to be refuted, and linking to the source of the disseminated information.

The chairman of the profile committee, Oleksandr Tkachenko, stressed that, for the time being, Ukraine is willing not only to discuss it, but also to set it in the law.

“I will be the last to speak about the need to introduce some restrictive frameworks. But the legislative regulation in this domain and the definition of terms what is misinformation, what is fake news, had to happen. This is a global discourse, and we cannot stand aside, pretending that such problem does not exist, ” Tkachenko said.

As IMI reported, on November 6, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Ukraine Volodymyr Borodyansky said that in Ukraine they plan to increase the responsibility of journalists for dissemination of false or manipulative information. According to him, the concept plans to introduce the concept of "manipulation of public opinion" and its criteria.

Earlier, Vladimir Borodyansky proposed to impose criminal responsibility for deliberately distorting public opinion.

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Ukraine will elaborate the legislation in order to define the notion of media manipulation and protection of journalists.

On November 13, at the meeting of the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy of the Verkhovna Rada, the MPs presented new concept of the Media Law.

The Servant of People faction is developing a bill on media that proposes to regulate the media and social networks.

On November 2, the president Volodymyr Zelensky issued a decree charging the government to elaborate and to submit the draft law on regulation of media activity before the parliament by the end of 2019. The bill had to cover provisions on requirements and news standards, mechanisms for preventing the spread of misinformation and its refutation.

The NGO “Institute of Mass Information” and NGO “Media Detector” have prepared its suggestions on the most important spheres of the main media bill - about audiovisual media services (mass media code).

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