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Registration of print media mandatory at time of armed aggression - Media Bill

07.07.2020, 15:58
Photo credits: flyparade / Getty Images
Photo credits: flyparade / Getty Images

The Bill #2693-d “On Media” provides for mandatory registration of print media at a time of armed aggression on Ukrainian soil, in compliance with the Articles 118 and 124 of the updated edition of the bill,as Ukrinform reported.

Thus, Article 118 proposes to define the restrictions to be applied from the moment the Verkhovna Rada recognizes a certain state as an aggressor (occupying state) and until the moment a decision is made to revoke this status. In view of this, Article 124 of the draft act stipulates that the registration of entities of printed press is mandatory and is carried out by the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting, which is a single regulatory body in the field of media.

At the same time, the bill is supoposed to set up that the entities that broadcast without the use of a radio frequency resource (TV channels and radio stations), entities in the field of customized audiovisual media and audiovisual service providers are subject to mandatory registration.

Online media and video sharing platforms can register of his own accord.

At the same time, the bill states that only registered media can receive state support, enter into agreements to cover the activities of state bodies and local governments. Earlier, the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy Mykyta Poturayev precised that registration would offer some additional opportunities to employees of such media and the media themselves - from protection to support. For example, according to him, a journalist won’t be denied to get accreditation, and registered online media will be able to count on institutional grants from the state.

The bill also provides a definition of "online media", according to which they include media that regularly disseminate information in text, audio, visual or other form in electronic (digital) form via the Internet on its own website or website on a platform for sharing information, except for audiovisual media.

As IMI reported, on July 2, the MPs from the "Servant of the People" registered a revised bill "On Media" under №2693-d . 

On July 1st, the parliamentrary Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy recommended the revised draft law “On Media” №2693-d to be adopted by the Parliament in the first reading and the alternative draft law №2693-2 to be rejected. 

As IMI reported, on June 19, Media Detector published a draft of the draft law #2693 “On Media” prepared by the working group in its new edition.

On June 18, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy decided to postpone consideration of the draft law № 2693 “On Media” in the new wording prepared by the committee and draft law 2693-2 “On Media” to July 1. 

The updated text of the №2693 project is not yet available on the parliament's website. Project №2693-2 was registered on the parliament's website on May 29.

On May 19, the Verkhovna Rada sent Bill №2693 "On Media" to the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy for revision.

In April, MP from the "Servant of the People” Oleksander Tkachenko said that the Bill No. 2693 "On Media" will be amended and one of its sections dealing with online media activities to be redrafted.

As IMI reported, on February 5, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech by the majority of votes of the representatives of the "Servant of the People" faction supported the bill No. 2693 "On Media" and recommended that the Parliament approve it in the first reading. However, the committee did not endorse the alternative bill # 2693-1 "On Media", sponsored by the European Solidarity faction.

As IMI reported, on January 17, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy recommended that the Parliament adopt the bill No. 2693 “On Media” as a basis.

The new legislative act should become a comprehensive document that will replace several media laws: on television and radio broadcasting, printed press in Ukraine, news agencies, National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting, state support for mass media and social protection of journalists, about the procedure for coverage of activities of state and local self-government bodies in Ukraine by mass media.

The Center for Democracy and Rule of Law called on the parliamentary profile committee and parliament to hold efficacious discussion and to consider amendments to the media bill and to pass a quality law in the first half of 2020. The Ukrainian Internet Association (UIA) has suggested to the parliamentary committees to report out the draft law No. 2693 to its draftsmen for revision. UIA drew attention to a number of novelties of the bill, which, in the opinion of UIA experts, posed "significant threats not only to the mass media, but also at the domain of electronic communications of Ukraine".

On January 15, a group of MPs from the European Solidarity faction have registered an alternative media bill No. 2693-1.

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