Romania media group: Dump draft law that harms press freedom

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian media group has protested a draft law that would allow Parliament to arbitrarily dismiss the chief of the Agerpres national news agency, saying that could damage media independence.

The Mediasind journalists’ trade union said Thursday the proposal would give too much authority to politicians and urged that it be dropped. It says “any political force could find that the director-general is not ‘loyal’ enough to the government, regardless of the quality of the work.”

Currently, Agerpres’ general manager has a five-year mandate and the agency, under parliamentary control, is required to be politically impartial.

The European Federation of Journalists called the measure “an instrument to politicize the public service media.” Agerpres and Mediasind also complained they were not asked for input on the proposal.

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