Lithuania's parliament on Tuesday started deliberating amendments on giving journalists free of charge access to data from the Center of Registers.
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

Based on the amendments drafted by the government, journalists will be given the right to free of charge access to registries and state information systems after signing special contracts. But journalists, who have twice breached the Code of Ethics of Lithuanian Journalists and Publishers over the past year and have also twice committed gross professional violations, as well as unethical media outlets, will not be given access to such information.

75 lawmakers on Tuesday gave their initial backing to these amendments, two were against and eight abstained. They will now go to parliamentary committee for further consideration and will need another two votes for final adoption.

Until the adoption of these amendments, the government made a temporary decision last week to give journalists free access to data from the Center of Registers, compensating for the provision of this information from the state budget. The center is now signing contracts with journalists.

The Center of Registers ended in mid-September its long-time practice of providing registry data free of charge based on journalists' inquiries, as the center's head Saulius Urbanavičius said the practice had no legal basis.

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