Russian State Duma passed the law to control the names of mass media outlets

The state Duma gave the third reading to the Federal Law “About the introduction of changes and amendments to the Russian Federation Law “About Mass Media.” Two hundred and forty-nine deputies voted for the document, and 19 were against it.

According to the new law, the Ministry for Press will not register the media outlets with similar names. The registration of the media outlets, which use the words “Russia,” and “the Russian Federation” were misused.

Using the registered titles without the permission from the owner, using the names of the international organizations, in which Russia is a member, was banned by the new law, as well as the use of the public associations and political parties without their consent. The use of obscene language in the names of the newspapers, magazines, television and radio programs is not allowed either.

It should be said that the new law does not have its retroactive effect – regarding the media outlets, which have already been registered at the moment, when the law was passed.

The discussion of the law was smooth and quick. The deputies did not agree with the opinion of Yabloko faction that said that the government would obtain the possibility to pursue mass media under the technical pretext.

Sergey Mitrokhin (Yabloko) claimed that the amendments to the functioning law about mass media were giving a very good chance to the government to finish off with the disagreeable media under the pretext of “incorrect name.” Mitrokhin also thinks that hundreds of media outlets with the same names and thousands with the similar names will exist from hand to mouth, and would not be able to exist at all in case of the total re-registration. Mitrokhin also implied Moscow’s threats to withdraw the license from Radio Liberty (Svoboda) to broadcast on Russia's territory due to the anti-Russian direction of the programs of its North Caucasus office.

Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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