Coalition Smer-SD MP Dušan Jarjabek said following the Parliamentary Committee for Culture and Media session on January 29 that he assumed the Government's proposed Press Act would be fine-tuned in a second reading based on MPs' comments. In his opinion, proposals from publishers could also be entertained, assuming that the result will represent an agreement rather than pressure or extortion.
However, Jarjabek added that publishers were also entrepreneurs and it had to be understood that the legislation wasn't being drafted for them, but also for journalists – and especially for citizens. He said that the first reading, scheduled for January 29, was more about the philosophy behind the legislation. He said the act was 80-percent identical to similar initiatives made by culture ministers of the second Government (Dzurinda 2002-06), Rudolf Chmel and František Tóth. According to Jarjabek, the act attempts to introduce a similar regime for the print media which already exists for the electronic media thanks to the Act on Broadcasting and Re-transmission.
Opposition SDKÚ-DS MP Magda Vasaryova countered that her party wasn't actually opposed to the adoption of the treaty, but instead had no other tools to highlight the imperfections of the proposed Press Act amendments.
According to her party colleague, MP Tomáš Galbavý, the problem doesn't consist only in the wording of the draft acts on press and concessionary fees (for public broadcasters), but also in the societal atmosphere which the representatives of the Coalition aroused by their highhanded comments. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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30. Jan 2008 at 7:00