The Verkhovna Rada adopted in the second reading the generally scandalous bill No. 2693-d “On Media”, which, among other things, expands the powers of the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting and provides for the voluntary registration of bloggers. 299 MPs voted for the corresponding decision.
Case against media in 2 daysThe adopted law provides that “in cases of a real threat to the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public order in order to prevent riots or crimes and if there are grounds and a corresponding request from the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting, the court shall consider an administrative case against the media within two days from day of filing a lawsuit.”
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Voluntary registration of bloggers and Internet projects The adopted law provides for the voluntary registration of bloggers and Internet projects.
“We give you the opportunity to voluntarily come to the National Council and say that you want to be considered a media outlet and that the law protects you as a journalist. There are separate articles of the Criminal Code that protect journalists. Moreover, registration for Internet sites is not required. However, there are certain advantages for online media that will pass registration. In particular, they will have priority accreditation, protection, blocking formats will not be applied to them, everything through the courts. Therefore, this has its advantages, ”explained one of the authors of the bill, deputy chairman of the Servant of the People faction Yevheniya Kravchuk
The ban was distributed by the mediaBy decision of the National Council, the deputies provided the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting with the opportunity to temporarily prohibit the distribution of online media without a court decision. At the same time, the procedure for introducing such a restriction was not clearly regulated. Article 99 of the law gives the National Council the right to temporarily prohibit the distribution of media. Article 116 of the law determines that a temporary ban on the distribution of online media by decision of the National Council is applied – in the event of a significant violation, if five fines were applied to the subject within one month for committing significant violations, the decision on which was not canceled in the manner prescribed by law . At the same time, there is no reference to Article 116 in Article 99 of the law, which leaves questions about the scope within which the National Council will operate. Although the authors of the project assure that only unregistered sites will be temporarily blocked.
Registration The law establishes voluntary registration for websites and newspapers and mandatory registration for audiovisual media (television and radio). At the same time, it provides for re-registration for already registered newspapers and news agencies within a year after the entry into force of the document. Otherwise, the registration certificate will become invalid. The activities of online media after the entry into force of the law will be regulated by the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting
Sanctions and amnesty The adopted law generally provides for the differentiation of sanctions against registered and unregistered media. In particular, registered media can be fined for five minor violations committed within a month, while unregistered media can be fined for 3 violations.
The prohibition of distribution by a court decision for unregistered online media may come after the third gross violation, while for the registered bar – 4 violations.
At the same time, the transitional provisions of the adopted law provide that during the year the National Council for most violations will be issued only by orders, that is, without penalties and judicial and extrajudicial restrictions.
Resumption of TV broadcasts of the Verkhovna Rada The law provides that the Rada TV channel becomes state-owned and provides broadcasting of parliament sessions. At the same time, during martial law, the meetings of the Verkhovna Rada are supposed to be broadcast by recording on the day of the meeting
It is worth noting that there is no final table of amendments for the second reading regarding the bill.
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