The draft laws on a new Press Code and a High Authority of Audiovisual Communication (HAAC) were presented at a news conference held on Tuesday by the Independent National Authority for the Information and Communication Reform (INAICR).
Defining a new legal framework of the media landscape, given its role in the democratic transition process, translates the will to contribute to the organisation and restructuring of the information sector, said INAICR chairman Kamel Laabidi.
Provisions of the draft Press Code ensure freedom of expression, strengthen pluralism and repeal custodial sentences, he said, adding that they also limit the prerogatives of the administrative authorities, particularly those of the Interior Ministry.
"Several provisions of the draft law related to the HAAC also aim to restructure this key sector which requires necessarily the existence of technical and material conditions to obtain authorisation for launching radio stations and television channels," said Ridha Jnayeh, Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Press and Media in the High Authority.
He said, in this regard, that drafting of the two bills was made in co-ordination with journalists and lawyers and the participation of structures representing the media sector.
Chairwoman of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) Nejiba Hamrouni stressed the urgent need for a law organising the information sector, given the inclination of some heads of media institutions to exploit the existence of a legal vacuum.
She proposed that the two draft laws be discussed on Wednesday by the High Authority for the Achievement of the Revolution Objectives "to allow the sector to get out of the lawless zone through the promulgation of a specific law."
Participants expressed their concern about the influence of political advertising on democratic game and the organisation of credible elections.
They reminded that the draft laws ban political advertising formally.