In addition to ensuring that social organizations monitor the media, the project of changes to the Communication standard also seeks that information companies publish the actions aimed at inclusion.
Public protection for journalists is also collected, after the kidnapping and murder of three reporters. When the reform of the Organic Law of Communication (LOC) was presented, it was indicated that the text had 9 axes.
The third of them deals with the strengthening of citizen participation to monitor the functioning of the communication system and ensure the exercise of rights, their protection and guarantees. There are five articles that are part of this axis, in addition to the reforms to articles 37, 38, 43 and 44 of the current LOC.
The current law seeks that people with disabilities have greater access to communication. The reform proposed by the Executive broadens the issue and proposes that the media, in addition to using sign language translation and braille, include “other systems developed or to be developed.”
For Xavier Torres, Minister of Housing and president of the National Council for Equality of Disabilities (Conadis), this is an advance. It emphasizes that although the current LOC stipulates the creation of inclusion mechanisms for people with disabilities, there are still media outlets that do not adopt them. In this sense, Torres said that the reforms should be adjusted according to the means and actions prepared by organizations representing persons with disabilities.
“These adjustments are presented over time. We must continue to motivate and work on the issue of disabilities in order to achieve better inclusion. ”
For Torres there is an interesting topic that has been discussed and even, at a certain moment, it became obligatory: that the media, in its annual planning, be required to include people with disabilities. Thanks to this mechanism, radio programs and publications appeared in newspapers and television programs that gave a space to address disability issues.
That, he said, allowed the rule to be met. “The Communication Law must open spaces for written media, graphic media, television and radio so that they can spend time talking about disabilities,” he said.
Although he mentioned that there is progress, he also reiterated that there is still a gap in the inclusion of people with disabilities in communication. “For example, not all television channels have incorporated sign language. Failure to promote effective attention within the ministries “. Citizen participation will also suffer changes with the reforms.
The current LOC stipulates that citizens will have the right to organize themselves to influence the management of the media and monitor the fulfillment of their rights. The reforms sent by the Executive force, in addition, require the media to disclose the results of this surveillance, which will be considered by the Council for Regulation, Development and Promotion of Information and Communication (Cordicom).
The protection of communicators has been a subject discussed in recent months, mainly due to the violent acts that occurred on the northern border. Faced with this, the reforms propose public protection against threats.
For Vicente Ordóñez, journalist and former president of the National Union of Journalists (UNP), is an advance in terms of strengthening the guarantees for the work that journalists do. Thus, he exemplified that after what happened with El Comercio’s journalistic team they have “asked the State to provide greater guarantees to be able to comply with the work not only in high risk areas but in all sectors”.
But, in addition, that the State “answers about what could happen tomorrow or passed around the risks of the journalistic exercise”. In his opinion, there should also be an obligation for all authorities to provide facilities for journalistic work. “One concern we have is that the information does not open itself despite the fact that there is a law on access to information.” In the third axis, the Executive also added the definition of social communication. “It is the set (…) of natural or legal persons who (…) exchange information, messages and social meanings of general interest, through means, processes, mechanisms, elements and natural, technical and technological devices (. ..) to which the parties can access in an equitable manner, with the vision of building common visions and acting on them “.
Validity of the law
On June 25, 2013, the Organic Communication Law (LOC) was published in the Official Registry. Since then, 20 bills of reforms to the legal body have been submitted to the National Assembly: 4 were received, 15 are in process in the Legislative and only one did not meet the requirements to be qualified in the Legislative Administration Council (CAL) .
On Wednesday May 23, the CAL met the last of them, which was presented by the Executive, after a dialogue with the sectors involved. The objective is that all the reform projects are condensed into one for this to be processed by a legislative commission. (I)