On February 6th, Hivos partner Freedom of Expression Committee (C-Libre) handed Honduran president Porfirio Lobo a proposal for a new telecommunications law that could significantly democratize the country’s media spectrum. This is the first time a proposal for such a law has been put forward in Honduras.
In order to promote discussion amongst lawmakers and expedite the adoption of the initiative in Congress, an agreement to this effect was signed by Minister of the Secretariat for Justice and Human Rights, Ana Pineda, President of C-Libre, Arnaldo Rodriguez, and President Porfirio Lobo.
The agreement between the government and C-Libre encourages a broad range of stakeholders to participate in the process of creating a new media bill, such as state employees, government institutions, civil society organizations, journalists, social communicators and media professionals.
President Porfirio Lobo has also set up a commission to analyze C-Libre’s proposal and merge it with one written by the Executive branch of the government within a week. The commission will summit the resulting media bill to the National Congress at the earliest opportunity.
According to C-Libre, a new media law based on the key points they put forward in their proposal will guarantee the right to freedom of expression and free speech in Honduras.
Key points of C-Libre’s proposal regarding allocation of the spectrum (available frequencies):
- 20 percent allocated to public media
- 15 percent allocated to the commercial sector
- 30 percent allocated to community media in rural areas
- 15 percent allocated to media in urban areas
Members of the commission: