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Newly proposed media law to create problems: Nai

Newly proposed media law to create problems: Nai

May 28, 2012 - 21:32

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): A media supporting organistaion, Nai, on Monday accused the Ministry of Information and Culture of trying to enforce a new media law that could create many problems for the industry.

Instead of bringing amendments to the existing media law, the ministry had proposed a new law published in a government-run newspaper last week, setting a 10-day deadline for public opinions on it.

The Afghanistaninfo-icon Independent Journalist Association (AIJA) said the deadline was not enough for opinions, calling for at least a three-month time to complete the process.

“The proposed law curtails the independence of the high media council because its lacks the basic principles of press freedom, NAI Director Siddiqullah Tawhidi told a news conference.

The high media council comprises journalists, media outlets and government's representatives working for media development, he said, adding the proposed draft suggests government representatives be in majority and only two journalists and as many civil societyinfo-icon activists be part of it.

He said the new law calls for the information minister to serve as director of the high media council, while the existing law calls for election on the position.

He believed if the law was enacted, it could bring independent media outlets under government influence, suggesting the number of media representatives should be greater than government representatives in the council.

Tawhidi further said although the current media law was better, it needed amendments to facilitate journalists and media outlets.   

He claimed the newly proposed law was not maintainable and if approved, journalists and media organizations would be unable to follow it.

Tawhidi demanded the ministry should introduce comprehensive amendments to the mass media law.

However, the Ministry Information and Culture said the draft law was yet to be finalised and it was aimed at ensuring more freedom to the press.

Delawar Nazirzoi, a legal adviser on media affairs at the ministry, said the draft had been approved by the high media council and circulated to various media outlets for opinions.

He added they would welcome every constructive feedback, suggested by media outlets and culturalists before being presented to the high media council for a review.   

Nazirzoi asked the NAI and other institutions to clarify disputed points in the draft and float their recommendations.  




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