The National Assembly approved this Tuesday, December 18, 2018, after eight hours of debate in the Plenary, the project of reforms to the Organic Law of Communication (LOC) that was approved by former President Rafael Correa and that was perceived by the media as a ‘ gag law.’
With 75 votes in favor, 25 against and seven abstentions, the Legislative Chamber decided to give its approval to the reforms that were developed in the Collective Rights Commission of the Assembly in recent months in dialogue with sectors related to communication in the country.
The LOC was considered a “gag law” by the country’s private media and by international organizations for freedom of the press and expression.
A few months ago, President Lenin Moreno undertook the changes to make it a law according to international standards and to guarantee both press freedom and human dignity.
The president of this legislative Commission, Jorge Corozo, indicated that, through the report, the right to intercultural communication of indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorian and Montubian peoples and nationalities is strengthened, to produce and disseminate in their own language.
El Pleno de la Asamblea Nacional aprobó las reformas a la #LeyDeComunicación. Con ello se modifica el 76% de la normativa vigente desde hace cinco años, en beneficio de los ecuatorianos. pic.twitter.com/3o1kP0ljVd— Asamblea Nacional (@AsambleaEcuador) 19 de diciembre de 2018
He also highlighted the main benefits of the reforms to the Communication Law, “among which are the elimination of deontological codes, the prohibition of prior censorship for authorities and public officials or the suppression of media lynching,” according to a statement from the Assembly.
An article is also added with the purpose of “protecting workers from communication by the State”, the professionalization of communication is maintained, with the exception of people who have spaces of opinion and comprehensive protection for girls, children and adolescents.
The reforms also ensure that communication is a right and not a public service, as well as the equitable distribution of frequencies for public, private and community media.
The current reform project, promoted by the Government of Moreno, also includes the elimination of the Superintendence of Communications (Supercom), an organization created under this communication law and orchestrated what private media and national and international NGOs qualified as “information repression” “
Corozo noted that the Commission that presides received up to 76 observations from different social groups and 91 contributions from representatives of journalists’ associations, media and authorities.
The president of the Assembly, Elizabeth Cabezas, received on May 21 the project to reform the controversial Communication Law, and since then it was in the process of being processed in the Legislative. (I)