Unesco presented its assistance to the National Assembly for the drafting of the new Communication Law. Indira Salazar, representative of the United Nations agency, reported that this initiative analyzed the first seven of the 12 proposals submitted to the Collective Rights Commission.
According to the Unesco report, proposals before being approved must comply with international standards on communication and freedom of expression. For example, she recommended the dismissal of proposals that seek to change the working conditions of media workers.
The representative of Unesco said that although there are no international standards on this issue, it is a right acquired by workers and cannot be diminished. It was also recommended not to include the initiative that seeks to eliminate the percentage of the radio spectrum for community media.
According to Salazar, there is international regulation that supports a special spectrum item for community media. For Unesco there must be rules to avoid monopolies and the concentration of media. In addition, the delivery of frequencies must be fulfilled in public competitions, transparent and directed by an independent body.
Other topics addressed were the right of reply, prior censorship in cases of emergency, the drafting of ethical standards for the practice of journalism, among others. In the session of the Commission of Collective Rights also representatives of the universities participated who also presented their alternatives to change the norm.
One of them was Abel Suing, from the Private University of Loja, who asked the legislative board to give priority to national communication faculties to offer third and fourth level careers to professionalize media workers.
In addition, he requested that an alliance be strengthened so that national universities can prepare studies on the reality of communication in the country. “It is an opportunity that must be taken advantage of to involve the Academy more”.
Another guest was Franklin Falconí, a professor at the University of Cotopaxi. For him there is an error of origin in the conception of the law that diminishes the location of journalism and the media. “Let’s not touch journalism, let’s free it, let’s make the State guarantee access to communication.” In this way it is important, for Falconí, it is the diversity of the conformation of the Communication Council so that they are only representatives of the State.
The Commission will continue to receive the criteria of social organizations and authorities. The president of the legislative team, Jorge Corozo, said they are waiting for the visit of the Comptroller, the president of the Communication Council and the director of the Arcotel. (I)