Art And Culture

Media Bill Open for Review

The bill proposes new definitions of the media and their rightsThe bill proposes new definitions of the media and their rights

The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has proposed a bill on the media to the Cabinet.

The current law on Iran's media and press was approved in 2000, when the Internet had access to only 50% of global communication technology and was set to expand coverage to 97% via digital information technology by 2007.

In view of the recent developments in the area of the media, particularly in the digital media, as a result of newly emerging information technologies, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has recognized the necessity of upgrading the existing rules and regulations and therefore proposed the bill, as reported by the Cabinet Office in its official online website

The bill proposes amendments "to redefine the definitions of the media and their rights," in the changing global context with the emergence of the digital or electronic media.

It seeks to provide a basis on which "all media members can enjoy a single association that will deal with issues such as ranking among peers and (media) activity permits."

The Media Bill comprises 85 articles. It is available on the official website for all those who wish to view the document.

All legal and natural persons, experts, professors, elites, journalists or activists can read the draft and submit their comments, suggestions or criticism to the Cabinet while the bill is still under review.  The bill includes all mass communication, both the print media and the electronic media with textual, visual, auditory or audio-visual contents, in its first article.

A footnote in Article 1, however, states that radio and TV channels run by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) are exempted from the coverage of the bill.