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25.12.2006

Verkhovna Rada called on to pass legislation on editorial independence for state-owned media outlets

   

The Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information is recommending that Parliament pass as a basis the draft law “On editorial freedom of the state and municipal press during the process of denationalization”, No. 2738.  The draft law suggests regulating the relations between the state authorities, bodies of local self-government and the print media outlets which they have created while the latter are being denationalized.

According to the Verkhovna Rada’s information department, the Committee members point to the need to ensure editorial independence of the said media outlets as demanded by the Council of Europe. Their recommendations include establishing equal rules on access to information for state-owned and nongovernmental media outlets, single rules for dismissing chief editors of state and municipal press with the consent of the editorial staff, a ban on registering new printed media outlets.

The Committee members also insist that additional protection be introduced for editors of state and municipal media outlets, establishing that their dismissal should only be possible with the consent of their editorial teams. This regulation, they believe, should protect editorial heads from unfounded dismissals aimed at imposing control over the media outlet.

The parliamentarians (on the Committee) believe that the adoption of this draft law will make it possible to establish clear relations between the founders and editorial offices of the printed media.
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