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IFJ demands immediate withdrawal and revision of draft law on public broadcasting

(IFJ/IFEX) - 2 June 2010 - The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the largest group representing journalists in Europe, condemned the draft law on public radio being debated today by the Romanian Parliament. It called on the government to withdraw it immediately and conduct a full review of its contents in full consultation with media professional and civil society groups.

"This law, if adopted, would increase political interference in public radio and television, while weakening the voice of professional journalists and civil society groups," said Aidan White, General Secretary of the EFJ. "The removal of the right of journalists to protect the confidentiality of their sources would do immense damage to the capacity of the media to investigate corruption and the abuse of power."

Over the last week, the Committee for Culture and Media of the Romanian Parliament has decided behind closed doors over the future of public broadcasting, to the exclusion of all media professional and civil society groups.

The draft law introduces a new and discriminatory method of appointment of the management board while also restricting the right of unions to have a representative observer in the Board. In addition, the current legal guarantee for the confidentiality of sources would be eliminated.

A broad coalition of professional journalists' organisations, including the EFJ affiliate FRJ MediaSind, and civil society groups are leading protests against this draft law and are holding a demonstration today inside the Romanian Parliament during its public session.

The EFJ calls on the Romanian Parliament to reject the draft law and to conduct a full, open and transparent review with a full consultation of the key stakeholders before submitting a new version of the draft.

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