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Regional parliament creates commission to "regulate" media outlets

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 6 April 2009, the Aragua State Regional Legislative Council, in central Venezuela, created a commission in charge of reviewing and regulating all information published by the region's media outlets in order to guarantee compliance with the Social Responsibility in Radio and Television Law (Ley Resorte).

The commission's president, Member of Parliament Teresa Moretty, explained that the objective of the commission is to supervise the information disseminated by the media to guarantee that it is "truthful, fair and balanced." Moretty said that media outlets would not be subjected to punishment, but emphasised that they will be under constant observation.

The secretary general of the National Journalists' Association (Colegio Nacional de Periodistas), Amira Muci, objected to the implementation of the commission believing it to constitute a threat to the independent press and an attempt to manipulate information published by media outlets that oppose the government.

IPYS condemns this type of legislative initiative as it can intimidate the media and result in self-censorship.

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