PNL senator Ioan Ghişe submitted, Tuesday, to the Senate, a project called “Journalist Law”, according to which the journalist must have “a journalist card”, activate in journalistic cabinets, getting a special license every 3 years, be psychologically examined annually. Also, the liberal politician’s project includes a series of sanctions for “press crimes”.
According to Mediafax, the law draft says, in its 68th article, that “a press crime is a civilian crime made by introducing information, reflections or comments in mass-media related to facts that do not have any implication over the society and caused a moral or material loss for a person”. The draft mentions that, in those cases, responsible are public authorities for sending wrong information, the owner that multiplies the publication, the owner of the TV or radio station, the editor and the author that is not a licensed journalist.
Also, Ghise wants a special organism, Mass Media’s Ombudsman, that will watch and sanction the press crimes and will include representatives of the media companies, a representative of the civil society and one from the communication universities. According to the politician’s proposal, the organism will also have attributions in suspending journalists from working in their profession.
According to the draft, journalistic products are considered the news, opinions, interviews, reportages, investigations, editorials, debates, cartoons .
The politician’s law draft generated reactions from the Romanian Press Club (CRP), journalists and the syndicate of Romanian Journalists.
Indira Crasnea, CRP’s president, said that the opportunity of introducing mechanisms to regulate the press must be decided exclusively inside the profession, through consense and in terms established by mass-media industry’s associations.
She also added that the draft law establishes “institutions, sanctions, sometime in volatile terms, rules” for the journalistic professions, which is “a bit too much” and shows a bit too much vanity. She added that the politician might have had good intentions and recommended him “to use his capacities in fighting the political power”.
Cristi Godinac, the president of MediaSind, Romanian journalists’ syndicate, also reacted, saying that the politician’s initiative is “as dangerous as president Basescu’s initiative to mention press as a vulnerability in the Country Defense strategy”.
Godinac also said, Wednesday, in Bruxelles, FRJ MediaSind’s delegation will inform the Petitions Commission of the European Parliament and the chiefs of the PE parties about “this new initiative to cut off the liberty of expression in Romania”