The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine believes that the country's revised media bill violates the media workers' rights and requests it not be brought for a parliamentary vote, the head of the union, Sergiy Tomilenko, said on Tuesday
KIEV (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 30th June, 2020) The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine believes that the country's revised media bill violates the media workers' rights and requests it not be brought for a parliamentary vote, the head of the union, Sergiy Tomilenko, said on Tuesday.
Earlier this year, Parliamentary Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy forwarded a bill "On the Media" to the Verkhovna Rada that sought to introduce a slew of new rules and regulations for new media in the country. The bill has since received several revisions, including recommendations from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Media Freedom Office. Although the bill has yet to be registered for a vote, lawmakers have begun preparing it for general consideration.
"The National Union of Journalists is demanding that the draft law 'On the Media' be removed from consideration due to systemic threats it poses to freedom of speech ... The text of the new document does not take into account any of the proposals submitted by the Union of Journalists after extensive consultations with regional journalists," Tomelinko wrote on his Facebook account.
The Union explained, in a declaration posted on its website, that the bill abolishes several other media-related bills that ensure the observance of journalists' rights and financial guarantees.
In addition, requiring online outlets to acquire licenses to publish content may stifle the industry, the Union warned. Currently, only radio stations are obligated to acquire licenses to broadcast in Ukraine.
Ukraine's media regulation law currently does not account for the plethora of new outlets that have emerged online. The draft bill looks to modernize legislation in that field to be in step with the European example.
The draft also contains stipulations to allow the blocking and closure of outlets found in violation.