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Deadline Set for Media Ownership Transparency Law Initiation
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 9 Nov.'10 / 00:32

Lawmakers from the ruling party will table thier draft of law designed to make media ownership transparent within a week, Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Bakradze, said on November 8.

Speaking at a session of the parliamentary bureau, a body of senior lawmakers setting the legislative body's weekly schedule, Bakradze told the legal affairs committee to develop the text and to formally initiate the draft law no later than next Monday, November 15 or, if possible, within this week.

He also said that all the stakeholders should be invited in the process of discussion of the draft.

Bakradze announced on October 26 that the authorities planned to make media ownership and sources of thier finances "fully transparent" and said that a relevant draft law would be elaborated within two weeks.

A group of media and legal experts were working on the relevant draft law long before Bakradze's announcement. The package of thier proposal, however, is more comprehensive and involves not only media ownership transparency, but also issues like easing access to public information – the problem over which many journalists are increasingly complaining recently.

The proposal also offers measures for reducing timeframe of lengthy practice of court deliberations into the cases when journalists are denied access to public information and waiving court fees for such cases. It also addresses broadcasters’ licensing issues, as well as problems related with conflict of interest in the broadcast media and clear-cut regulations for media advertisement.

MP Pavle Kublashvili, who chairs parliamentary committee for legal affairs, said that it was possible to take into consideration those parts of the group's proposals, which deal only with media ownership transparency.

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