Netanyahu to scrap ban on Israeli journalists airing views

Netanyahu to scrap ban on Israeli journalists airing views

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to scrap a newly-passed law banning journalists working for the country’s public broadcast authority from expressing their opinions on air.

The law, passed on Thursday, drew criticism from journalists, who accused the government of trying to stifle dissent.

The law states that broadcasts should “avoid one-sidedness, prejudice, expressing personal opinions, giving grades and affixing labels”.

The Israel Press Council urged parliament to cancel the law, saying it violates free speech.

Following Mr Netanyahu’s about-face, the cabinet minister who pushed for the legislation resigned from his role overseeing public broadcasting.

Ofir Akunis, one of Mr Netanyahu’s closest confidants, said he could not keep functioning in office with such a “lack of backing”.

Mr Netanyahu’s office did not say exactly when the contested legislation will be reversed.

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