AMERICA/ECUADOR - The new Communications Law has been approved

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Quito (Agenzia Fides) - With 108 votes in favor, 26 against and one abstention, after four years the new communications law was approved. The approval was made without discussion (the discussion was already made in the previous legislative session). According to its supporters, the law seeks to democratize the media, although the private media and the opposition have called it "gag law".
According to a note sent to Fides, among the new features it presents, there is the introduction of the crime of "media lynching" resulting from the repeated publication of information in order to discredit or reduce the public credibility of natural or legal persons. The law also provides for the establishment of the Superintendent for information and communication, a body responsible for the monitoring, the supervision and control. Another body created by the new law is the Board to supervise the media, which will have powers in the areas of: access to information, content and time slot, the development of special rules and regulations for the allocation of frequencies.
The law also prohibits the concentration of radio and television frequencies that will be distributed as follows: 33 percent to privates, 33 percent to the state (public service) and 34 percent to Community institutions.
The law was passed in recent days, in which the Catholic community in Ecuador celebrates the 26th anniversary of the Catholic Organization of Latin America Communication and of the Caribbean, OCLACC, created on June 17, 1987, when three Catholic organizations of communication in Latin America ( OCIC-AL film; UCLAP, press and UNDA-AL, radio), decided to work together around a common plan. OCLACC reiterated its commitment and its mission to "contribute to building a more united and fair world" by means of initiatives, actions and projects "enlightened by faith in Christ and in communion with the Church." (CE) (Agenzia Fides 19/06/2013)