On May 31, 2013, the Directorate General on Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe released the opinion on the Draft-Law on Media and Audiovisual Media Services proposed by Macedonian Ministry of Information Society and Administration. The Opinion was prepared by the Department of Information Society, on basis of the expertise by Bernd Möwes.
“Despite convergence there still exist major differences between the printed press and electronic media regarding their effects on the formation of public opinion. These differences still demand different legal answers. The drafters of this Law are aware of this necessity but they might have underestimated the difficulties and complexities of the approach chosen. It is not without reason that the treatment of printed press and audiovisual media services in separate laws is still the general rule in Europe with a much lighter regime for the press”, states the Opinion.
“Press laws are usually limited to stating specific rights for the press and journalists as freedom of the press, no requirement for licensing, protection against seizures, right to refuse to testify and privileged access to information and a few obligations as providing an impressum, data on ownership, the right of reply and the identification of advertisements. Regulating all mass media in one law entails the danger of inconsistencies, overregulation and lack of clarity for the addressees of such a comprehensive law”, adds the CoE Opinion.
The Full text of the CoE Opinion on the Draft-Law on Media and Audiovisual Media Services is attached to this article.