Bolivia finalizes anti-racism rules that include penalties for media

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  • January 6, 2011

By Maira Magro

Bolivia has approved the final rules governing the “Law to Fight against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination,” which was passed by Congress and signed by President Evo Morales in October, Bolpress reports. Many media organizations criticized the bill for articles in it that they say violate freedom of expression.

Bolpress has the full text of the law on its site.

According to La Razón, the rules call for suspending for up to 360 days any media outlets that publish racist ideas. However, as leaked copies of the rules indicated earlier this week, the law does not allow for permanent closure of media companies in violation, and the maximum suspension only applies to repeat offenders. Among other punishments are fines for moral damages, which will be assessed by the courts.

Another change to the original law is that media outlets are not responsible for discriminatory content that is part of neutral news coverage, Bolpress explains. If third parties state racist comments live, the media outlet must interrupt the program and advise its audience that the comments were racist.

According to Opinión, a new National Committee against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination is charged with promoting, designing, and implementing the policies and rules against racism and discrimination.

Other Related Headlines:
» Los Tiempos (Journalists reject anti-racism rules)

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.