July 25, 2024 | 3:07

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Pedro Sánchez prepares anti-hoax law

Mairenis Gomez

June 13, 2024 | 6:00 pm

This law seeks to protect the independence of the press, forcing the ownership of the media and the subsidies they receive to be revealed.

The new European regulation on media freedom has come to change the rules of the game in protection of independence from the press. This regulation, approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, came into force in May after intense debates. Now, the president of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, is inspired by this rule to prepare its own 'anti-hoax law'. This law will seek to protect the independence of the press and will force us to reveal who owns the media and the state subsidies they receive.

A rule to protect the independence of the press and promote transparency and pluralism

The so-called European media freedom law aims to increase transparency about the ownership of media companies and institutional advertising, better protect journalists and their sources of information, and strengthen the independence of public media. This regulatory framework is crucial to ensuring that newsrooms can operate without the undue influence of political power. The law establishes safeguards to prevent public media from being used for political purposes, imposing clear criteria for the appointment and dismissal of senior officials..

Member States should create national databases that provide detailed information on media ownership. This includes both direct and indirect ownership, ensuring that the true interests behind each medium are known. It is essential that citizens know with certainty who owns the media and who is behind them, to detect possible conflicts of interest..

Protection of the work of journalists and transparency in financing

The regulation also includes measures to protect journalists from undue pressure. The authorities may not force journalists and editors to reveal their sources of information, not even through arrests, sanctions, office searches or installation of surveillance programs.. Only in specific cases and with prior judicial authorization will the use of spyware be allowed, and even then, the subjects under surveillance will have the right to be informed and challenge the surveillance in court.

A rule to protect the independence of the press

Transparency in media financing

Furthermore, the media must be transparent about funds received from state advertising and other financial aid, including from non-EU countries. Public funds allocated to online media or platforms must be allocated using public, proportionate and non-discriminatory criteria. All information on state advertising spending must be publicly accessible, breaking down the total annual amount and that allocated to each medium.

Ultimately, this new legislation represents an important step towards greater transparency and protection of press freedom in the European Union. By adopting this regulation as a framework, Pedro Sánchez seeks to strengthen the independence of the media in Spain and fight against disinformation, thus guaranteeing a free and pluralistic press.

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