Proposed law would fine, jail Dominican journalists without university degree

The Dominican Journalism Guild (CDP in Spanish) proposed mandatory membership for journalists and penalizing journalists without university degrees with two years of prison and a fine of roughly $25,700, reported the newspapers El Nuevo Diario and Diario Libre.

The proposed law allows media publications to freely contract employees, but in regards to journalists, “they shall only accept candidates with bachelors degrees or the equivalent from an accredited school of journalism and/or communication in the country,” stated the draft bill. The CDP would also provide the media with a list of employable journalism graduates, according to the bill.

The university degree requirement for journalists exists in Bolivia, Cuba, Chile, Honduras and Nicaragua, but the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has petitioned to declare the compulsory membership unconstitutional in those countries, as it believes that all citizens have the right to disseminate information, explained the news agency EFE.