Media law approved, but needs more changes: Assembly

National Assembly members have called for media outlets, individuals and entities that operate within the industry to be more clearly defined by law to ensure the media contributes positively to national protection and development. Members highlighted these points when debating a draft amendment to the Media Law on November 4. The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism decided to amend the law after it was first promulgated in 2008. The amendment, which was drafted by the ministry, was approved by 93 of the 103 Assembly members who voted on the draft. Nine members did not approve the draft, and one was present but did not participate in the vote. NA members wanted the drafting sub-committee to further amend several points. NA member for Luang Prabang province, Dr Sinnava Souphanouvong, said he wanted the law to more clearly define the individuals and legal entities that are authorised to participate in media activities. He suggested that people under the age of 18, former prisoners, people with mental health issues, groups, enterprises and organisations prohibited by law, foreigners and individuals who do not hold citizenship or permanent resident status in Laos should not be permitted to own or operate a media business in Laos.

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