MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - Dunja Mijatovic, a representative on media freedom with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), on Wednesday voiced her concerns about the draft amendments to Russia's law on mass media that she said could hurt pluralism in the country.
"I hope the proposed changes would not pose risks to media pluralism and limit diversity of opinions… Any legislative changes, especially in such a sensitive field as freedom of the media, should be carefully drafted and scrutinized," Mijatovic said, according to a report on OSCE official webpage.
This statement followed reports about the Russian Duma, which is the lower house of the nation's parliament, passing in the first reading amendments to the national law on mass media which would limit foreign ownership to 20 percent, down from the current 50 percent. The amendments affect all types of media, although their primal target has been television and radio stations.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media warned the new law could potentially "concentrate ideas and information in the hands of political elites, thus hampering the important watchdog function of the journalists," according to the OSCE.