Journalists, Advocates Submit Draft Media Law to Government

A suggested draft law on a Higher Media Council was submitted to Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amr on June 13, 2016.

The draft seeks to support and strengthen current media laws, find solutions that will respond to contemporary challenges and the needs of media, and guarantee right of expression and access to information.

Abu Amr emphasized the importance of developing a modern legal framework that overcomes obstacles to freedom of press, opinion, and expression.

Director of Birzeit University's Media Development Center Nibal Thawabteh said that comments and suggestions by the members of the drafting committee, comprised of journalists, advocates, judges and specialized organizations such as UNESCO, were taken into consideration during the preparation phase of the new draft law. Thawabteh pointed out that the center worked with 80 governmental and non-governmental institutions in the West Bank and Gaza to come up with the suggestions.

“Our combined approach to media development includes tailored activities that are context and gender sensitive, and which also take account of the challenges and opportunities created by the rapidly changing media environment.” Representatives from Birzeit University’s Media Development Center, the Ministry of Information, Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, Department of Culture & Information, Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, the Independent Commission for Human Rights, and the Institute of Law at Birzeit University presented the draft to Abu Amr.