National newspapers of Estonia use blank pages to protest against draft legislation on the protection of source information

Tallinn, 18th March 2010. Six major national newspapers belonging to the Estonian Newspaper Association (ENA) published a blank page today in order to protest against the draft legislation on the protection of source information drawn up on the initiative of the Minister of Justice Rein Lang, which the Parliament of Estonia decided to send to the first reading.

Blank front page was today published by Postimees, Äripäev, and Õhtuleht. One blank page appeared inside Eesti Päevaleht, Eesti Ekspress, and Maaleht.

All of the six major national newspapers published the following text on the blank page: “This is the future of journalism if the Parliament of Estonia passes the so-called draft act on the protection of source information 656 SE introduced by the Minister of Justice Rein Lang. The draft legislation would enable to send journalists engaged in investigative journalism to prison, obligate them to disclose the names of the sources that have provided them with information, and to impose fines on publications just for a warning before the publication of revealing articles.”

ENA is of the opinion that the draft legislation must not be passed as a law. ENA has defended its positions in the Ministry of Justice at a discussion held past autumn as well as this Monday in the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Estonia. In February, ENA organised a seminar on the topic of source information protection, in which Dirk Voorhoof – a professor of the Ghent University in Belgium and a media expert acknowledged in Europe who performed at the seminar – stated that the draft is in contradiction to the practice of Europe.






Eesti Ajalehtede Liit

Pärnu mnt 67A
10134 Tallinn Estonia
Tel. +372 646 1005
Fax. +372 631 1210

Tagasi  -  Esilehele