Friday, September 6, 2013

UPDATE: Journalists Challenge Restrictive Media Law in Ecuador's Constitutional Court

PRESIDENTE RAFAEL CORREA EN EL CIUDADANO TV
 (Photo credit: Presidencia de la Rep├║blica del Ecuador)
The Wall St. Journal reported this week that journalists and other free press advocates have asked Ecuador's highest court, the Constitutional Court, to overturn a restrictive media law enacted in June (see "TUOL" post 6/14/13) by a National Assembly supportive of President Rafael Correa.

Correa, who has ruled the South American Republic since 2006 and famously grappled with journalists in court whom he has sued for slander, backed the media law revisions. Among the changes in the new law is a redistribution of television frequencies, the lion's share of which were privately owned, so that a third would be run by the government, a third of radio and tv frequencies would remain in the hands of  the private sector, and the remaining 33 percent would be community-run.

Critics of the new law, who contend it suppresses the freedom of opinion and expression, are especially troubled by the creation of a government communications superintendent position that would be empowered to sanction the news media and conduct audits, according to the Journal article.
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