Information Policy Committee accepts concept of new media law for work

The initiative on the criminalization of disinformation and imposing of fines for non-profitable media is discussed
21:25, 13 November 2019

Open source

The Committee of the Verkhovna Rada on Humanitarian and Information policy accepted the concept of new bill on media for work, as 112 Ukraine reported citing Servant of the People MP Mykyta Potuaryev.

“What do we ban? Just ban, offer – so, audiovisual work, one of its partakers is a person put on the list of people who create a threat for national security. Of course, the law does not aim to establish such a list and criteria of such a list. The materials, which contain the popularization or propaganda of bodies of the state-aggressor, its officials and their particular actions, which justify or recognize legal the armed aggression, annexation of the territory of Ukraine, violation of the territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ukraine; unreliable materials about the armed aggression and activity of the state-aggressor, its officials in case, if it leads to the stirring of enmity and hatred or urges to the violent change of the territorial integrity or constitutional order,” Poturayev said.

He expressed the belief that the new media law should contain the section about the guarantees and protection of the journalists’ rights.

“We believe that exactly through media the life and health insurance of the journalists should be held from the risks tied with their professional activity. There is no such practice yet, we want to include it in the law. We believe it is the responsibility of the owners of the media, including social one,” the lawmaker explained his position.

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Mykyta Potuaryev also announced other innovations: “We would like to enhance the criminal responsibility for interference in the activity of the journalist, bribery of the journalists or media workers to spread disinformation. We want to note it in the law”.

According to him, the draft law provides such a definition of “disinformation”, which is used in Europe.

It is also planned to establish that the disinformation is dangerous if it is publicly available, aims to a wider audience and it is spread intentionally.

“Once again, it is the discussion. We establish and it is also the area of concern of the regulator. If the regulator sees, moreover, we have the co-regulation body. The regulator along with the co-regulation body or the body sees that there is something corresponds to it, they go there. But, it should be elaborated because we understand that the criminal responsibility issue is the issue of the Criminal Procedure Code; it is not the issue of the media code but it is the issue which should be solved, whether it should be at all or it should not be criminal,” Poturayev noted.

He expressed the belief that it is necessary to enhance the right for a rebuttal of information or response to the publication with the responsibility for non-provision of it.

Related: Ukrainian oligarch Akhmetov's Ukraine Media Group launches Ukraine 24 TV channel

MP from the Opposition Bloc – For Life Yury Pavlenko expressed the number of cautions during the voting.

“I abstained due to the fact that I have the clauses to three points, at least, concerning the disinformation, fair play, and issues of self-regulation or co-regulation, particularly, of journalism standards,” Pavlenko said.

Minister of Culture Volodymyr Borodyansky stood for tightening of the responsibility for journalists for the publishing of unreliable, manipulative information.

MP from the Servant of the People, representative of presidential faction in the parliament Oleksandr Tkachenko expressed the belief that crimes against the journalists should be considered separately. Besides, he stood for imposing of sanctions against non-profitable mass media.


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