From Iceland — Iceland To Be Free Press Sanctuary

Iceland To Be Free Press Sanctuary

Published February 15, 2010

A resolution with multi-partisan support contends that Iceland must become a sanctuary for freedom of the press, and recommends a number of legislative changes to that end.
The resolution has the support of 15 members of parliament from every party except the Independence Party, although they are expected to review the proposal today and possibly sign on. Birgitta Jónsdóttir from The Movement will deliver the opening address on the resolution.
The legislation recommends, among other things, special laws which would protect informants and sources used by journalists. In addition, for a journalist to reveal a source would be punishable by law. It also proposes special legislative protections for media outlets from the wealthy and powerful.
Vísir reports that the resolution also suggests that publishing houses be protected from lawsuits if they report on information that has been publicly available on the internet for at least two months.
Iceland has lately been critcized by journalist unions at home and abroad that journalists are being treated as expendable commidities, and that freedom of the press is waning, with one example often cited being Davíð Oddsson hired as co-editor of Morgunblaðið while the same paper fired some 40 journalists, many of whom had been there for decades.

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