Lithuania's government is considering introducing asset, income and interest declarations for journalists, and also barring politicians from becoming shareholders in media companies.
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

The proposals will be submitted to the Cabinet on Wednesday when ministers will consider ways to implement the conclusions of a parliamentary probe into businesses' unlawful influence on politics.

Skirmantas Malinauskas, an advisor to the prime minister, told BNS Lithuania there are plans to make journalists submit asset and income declarations to the State Tax Inspectorate.

Media outlets would be allow to set their own procedures for declaring interests, but the law would stipulate the principle that journalists should submit their declarations to the editor-in-chief or director, the adviser said.

There's also a proposal for the government to initiate amendments to the Law on Advertising to bar unmarked advertising on social media.

"In all cases of paid advertizing, both the natural and the legal person should have the obligation to mark that. Both the contractor and the person spreading information would be held accountable if advertising is not marked," Malinauskas told BNS Lithuania.

The Lithuanian government will also deliberate a proposal to ban politicians from holding ownership in media outlets. Such politicians would include party members, non-affiliated MPs, members of the government and municipal councils as well as state officials of political trust.

According to Malinauskas, the panel submitting these proposals hopes they will help to increase media transparency.

The amendments would also define how media outlets must disclose their owners and their other businesses and will also stipulate sanctions for failure to do so.

Specific bills have not been drafted yet as individual ministries will be ordered to draft them.

BNS
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