The Verkhovna Rada published the text of bill #2693 on media. The bill provides the introduction of the so-called code of mass media work.
The initiators of the bill are ten MPs: Oleksandr Tkachenko, Mykyta Poturayev, Yevhenia Kravchuk, Iryna Konstankevych, Oleksandr Kabanov, Andriy Boblyakh, Yelyzaveta Bohutska, Tatiana Ryabukha, Pavlo Sushko, Dmytro Naletov and Tatiana Tsyba.
The explanatory note states that the adoption of the bill should create the necessary modern European conditions to meet the information needs of Ukrainians, effective development of the sphere of provision of the audio-visual media services with the use of new technologies.
The chief body, which will monitor the media market, will be the National Council on TV and Radio Broadcasting. This body will register the mass media or abolish the registration of the media, which activity violates the law.
According to the bill, only those broadcasters, which use the radio-frequency resources for earth broadcasting – FM radio and T2, will be licensed.
The registration is obligatory for the subjects, which hold the broadcasting without the use of the radio-frequency resource, subjects in the sphere of the print media, providers of the audiovisual services as well as the subjects in the media sphere, including non-residents of Ukraine who provide the users in the territory of Ukraine with the access to its media services on the terms providing the payment for access or use of such services. Online media and platforms of public access to information made a decision about the registration on their own.
Foreign line media may spread in the territory of Ukraine by the providers of the audiovisual services only after the registration of such media in the order offered by the law.
Freedom of activity in media sphere
Censorship is banned. The illegal interference in the work of media is not allowed for the state, bodies of the local self-government, private associations and political parties (excluding the cases when the official is the author of spread information or gave the interview).
In the territory of Ukraine, the re-broadcasting of the radio channels, TV channels or programs, which originate from the EU-members countries is not restricted.
The spread of media in the territory of Ukraine might be banned only in the cases and in the order provided by the law.
Issues that Ukrainian media cannot spread
Some of the bans remained the same. For example, the ban on the urge for coercive regime change or racist or any other abuse.
However, the new points also appeared, particularly, the ban on the justification of part of Ukraine and denial of territorial integrity.
It is prohibited to create the positive images of people who occupied the leadership positions in the Communist Party (the position of the secretary of the district committee and higher), higher bodies of the authority and governance of communist regime times. As well as the employees of the Soviet bodies of the state security. Only those people who worked for the development of Ukrainian culture and science can be mentioned positively.
According to the bill, it is banned to depict Nazis positively.
Particular restrictions tied with armed aggression
It is banned to spread:
- materials, which contain the popularization or propaganda of the bodies of the state-aggressor, its officials, people and organizations, which are controlled by the state-aggressor. As well as their particular actions, which justify or recognize the armed aggression, annexation of the territory of Ukraine, violation of the territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ukraine to be legal, particularly, public negation of the mentioned actions;
- Unreliable materials on the armed aggression and actions of the state-aggressor, its officials, people and organizations, which are controlled by the state-aggressor, in case, if they cause the incitement to enmity and hatred or urges to the coercive change of the territorial integrity and constitutional order;
- programs and materials (besides information or information and analytical) with people put on the list of people who create a threat to the national media space of Ukraine; the list is approved by the National Council in the order established by the law.
Moreover, the National Council refuses to register the foreign line media registered in the state-aggressor if the council found the signs of the fact that the editorial control toward such foreign line media is held by physical or legal persons of the state-aggressor.
Punishment for violation
According to the law, the sanction system is changed. Firstly, the media will get the requirement (obligatory for fulfillment in defined time frame written demand toward the redressing violations or demands of the legislation). If the violations are not redressed, the fine will be applied. The National Council may apply it on its own. The cancellation of the license and/or abolishment of the registration (appeal to the court) and the ban on the spread of the mass media in the territory of Ukraine are among sanctions.