The amended Law on Press was adopted by National Assembly (NA) deputies at the 11th session on April 5, with approximately 89.5 percent of votes.
The revised 6-chapter, 61-article law is designed to replace the 1989 Press Law and its 1999 amendments. It will take effect from January 1, 2017.
It stipulates the right to freedom of the press; citizens’ right to freedom of speech on press; press organisations and activities; rights and duties of agencies, organisations and individuals involving in press activities; and State management on press.
Before passing the draft law, the NA heard a report on the acquisition of opinions on the bill.
Accordingly, the NA Standing Committee agreed on proposed amendments to Article 27 of the bill in which eligible holders of press cards who work for a religious organisation’s press agency will not be required to have a three-year college diploma or higher degrees.
People with two years working in a press agency will be qualified to apply for the first granting of press card, instead of three years in accordance with the current law.
However, the committee rejected the proposals on revised Article 28 which suggested not requesting press card holders to re-apply for a new card every five years.
It proposed to keep the regulation unchanged in order to prevent those who have left press agencies from misuse of the cards.
The proposed prohibition of journalists and correspondents from using social media was also rejected to ensure citizens’ right to freedom of speech as stipulated in the Constitution.