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The Coming Government and Media Law

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 April 2012 10:56
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Fadi Abu Sa’da– without a doubt PM Salam Fayyad faces many changes in the formation of the new Palestinian government. It was known that during his talks to form this government he meet with wide range of people, and went as far as reaching out to youth via social forums.

However the challenges remains high as we move ahead towards the dead line promised by PM Fayyad that in September the foundations of our modern country will be done as well as the elections called for by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Amidst all of that we could not forget the internal issues and have clear agendas for it.

Even though President Abbas chose to take the side of the people when it came to pressure America regarding its veto against the UN proposed anti settlement resolution, and taking active part in forming the new government along with Dr. Fayyad as both took much consideration to what is happening in the Arab region and in Palestine, this most consideration must also reach all the details on the internal level, and that what I am going to talk about, the law for Media. 

The current law for media date back to 1995 and its known to all that it’s not valid anymore because of the developments of this sector and the needs of people working in it, at a time media reached a point where revolutions are being done by social media networks! In a time the old law was not updated for the past 16 years.

The matter does not stop at this point, today we stand at a cross road, our PM has two proposed law bills one will be approved and used for the coming years. One bill was made by the Palestinian Ministry of information, something we oppose as we try to dismantle this ministry and form a High Media Commission to replace it.

The other law bill was made by law experts from Birzeit university in collaboration with the university Media Development department and independent media figures, which makes its more preferable to be passed as a law because it was done by media people, as we demand.

A commission was formed lately to study the two bills, the strange thing that its chaired by the ministry of interior, minister of communication, ministry of planning, the government Press office, and the PM minister office as well as the Journalists Associations. The last three have all right to be involved as they are related to the subject, but the first three has nothing to do with media and freedom of speech.

PM Fayyad talks a lot about freedom of speech and protecting it, as well as working to stop those who violate that right, we are demanding the new law for media to be made on top his new government agenda and his commitment to protect journalists in light of the violations being committed against them from all sides. Not to stand with bureaucracy and involve the interior, communications or planning ministries as they have nothing to do with such issue, or they should not have anything to do with this issue.

If we are talking about reaching a democratic modern country in September we must remind that media is one of its foundations, the Prime Minister know that without modern law for Media one of the most important foundations of our future state will have a major fault.
Will this be taken into account?

PNN Editor in chief