Decree regulating the career of Journalism and reporter in Panama



Chapter I

Article 1.
For the purposes of this Act declare as fundamental principles of the exercise of the profession of journalism freedom of expression, freedom of opinion and freedom of the press, which are an essential part of this law career in journalism.

Article 2.
Journalism: A concept based on the collection and analysis (whether oral, visual or written graphic mode) information, in any form, presentations and varieties. Describe the academic training and who exercises own career as a journalist.

Journalists: For the purposes of this Act are considered journalists by profession, people who perform regularly, by financial compensation, the tasks that are specific to them in daily or periodic or news agencies and Internet publications independently.

Excluded from this law agents or brokers advertising and accidental or foreign partners to the profession.

Photojournalism: Refers to photo journalism, graphic journalism, photojournalism, or caricature, which is sort of journalism that has to do directly with photography, video and caricature. They are the direct support of Journalists, in their roles as photographers, cameramen and cartoonists.

Article 3.
They are functions of a journalist in the exercise of their profession search, preparation and editing of news; graphic editing, photo illustration, conducting interviews, reports and other journalistic work, and their coordination in the print, radio, digital and broadcast media, news agencies, alternative and digital media, press sections or offices or information private companies or public institutions.
Such as; the Director General, Associate Director, Deputy Director and Assistant Directors of the above mentioned respective positions. In addition, they are considered as part of this law, editor, chief information officer, editors, correspondent editor, reporter, photojournalist (photographer, cameraman and caricaturist) manager news, newscaster, and any other charges related to chieftaincy journalism.
Journalists engaged in radio and audiovisual media are allowed to make their own phrases or linked to his professional activity.

Article 4.
To exercise the profession Panamanian journalism professionals must:
to. Possessing Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Bachelor of Social Communication; either Masters or PhD in any of the disciplines or specialties that exist in the media, granted by a public or private national university in the country or that his title has legally revalidated gave at the University of Panama, as policy maker in university academic subject.
b. Possessing Professional Certification issued by the Academic Technical Commission of Journalism.

Transitory paragraph:
1. With regard to those Panamanians who are exercising, without having completed his studies in 2010 onwards, they must complete their studies within a maximum of five years, to continue to exercise; or, those who have not completed their studies prior to 2010, will be considered for purposes of professional certification, have a certification that endorses its environmental practice for an uninterrupted period of 10 years (2015).
2. In the case of those Panamanians who are exercising empirically, and do not comply with the provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not be objects of the benefits of this law.

Article 5.
The foreigner who wishes to practice in the national territory as Journalist, Photojournalism, or in any position within a media, must have transient professional accreditation, awarded by the Academic Technical Commission of Journalism (CTAP), which will be valid for one year he entitled to one extension for the same period a year; at the end of which there may continue to pursue the profession in the Republic of Panama.
Journalists or Reporters Graphics foreign professionals to practice within the Republic of Panama must have:
c.1. Temporary Accreditation Professional certification (valid only during the authorized period), which you may be granted provided it is established that there is no national who can fill the position.
c.2. Charter endorsement of the National Association of Journalists of Panama (CONAPE) as the referee association that represents the interests of journalists in the country.
c.3. Charter guarantee of the Union of Journalists, the organization that oversees labor relations Journalists and Photojournalists in the country.
c.4. Permit from the Ministry of Labor, which will be issued after approval by the transient Professional Accreditation by the Academic Technical Commission of Journalism (CTAP).

Temporary Paragraph: In the case of Photojournalists and Panamanian cartoonists who do not have a professional degree in any public, private or institutes or universities Higher Social Journalism, Communication or a foreign university properly validated, opt for a Diploma which it will be organized by the Academic Technical Commission of Journalism (CTA).

Article 6.
The director or deputy director of a media, television, radio, print media, alternative media and / or digital, must be a journalist, as the Directors or Assistant Deputy and / or Associates, and must comply with the provisions of the Article 4 of this law.

Chapter II

Article 7.
Believe the Commission with technical ACADEMIC JOURNALISM (CTAP), which shall consist of:
– A main representative and deputy of the National College of Journalists of Panama (CONAPE);
– A main representative and deputy of the Union of Journalists of Panama (SP);
– A principal representative and an alternate from the University of Panama;
– A principal representative and an alternate for private universities with faculties of Social Communication;
– A master Representative and his deputy all media.
– A representative and an alternate from the National Media of the Ministry of Government, or person designated by the Minister.
– A main representative and alternate of the Committee on Transport and Communication at the National Assembly.
– A principal representative and an alternate of the Association of Journalists of Chiriqui (APCH).
– A main representative and alternate Columbus journalists.

Article 8.
Members appointed as principal of the Academic Technical Commission of Journalism, choose a policy that will consist of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a prosecutor, and vocal rest. Alternates act in the absence of the principal. The presidency is always held by a professional association of journalists with national representation and on a rotational basis.
The appointed members will only be part of CTAP by (2) years, without the right to reelection.

Article 9.
The decisions of the commission shall be by an absolute majority in the case of professional qualifications, and a simple majority in other decisions attached to what determines this Act.

Article 10.
The functions of the Technical Commission of Academic Journalism (CTAP) as follows:
to. Issuing professional qualifications of graduates of public universities or private you credit in the Republic of Panama; or revalidated titles legally, by delivering the original sealed certification and professional accreditation card.
b. Analyze requests for temporary foreign professional accreditations for media professionals wishing to practice in the Republic of Panama, for which it must present the requirements mentioned in Article 12 of this law.
c. It will keep a record of the professional journalists or accredited media in the Republic of Panama, and must appear on a web page of this commission, handled transparently, so that anyone who wants to verify whether a person is not journalist, so you can check through the web site, which will be updated weekly, if necessary.
d. Ensure full compliance with the law of the Panamanian journalist career, so that at all levels, public or private is applied thereto.
e. Issue its internal regulations of the Academic Technical Commission of Journalism.
f. Manage and / or update the Code of Professional Ethics of Journalism here consigned. Whenever you have a change, to enter into implementation, it shall be published in the Official Gazette.
g. Practicing journalists may use this instance, when also consider that their rights under this Act have been violated in vocational assessment, career or salary advancement recognition.
h. Consider other members in the process, and to be adopted by resolution of directors, and published in the Official Gazette for its entry into force.
i. Set the operating budget of the committee, which meets at least once a month to see the applications, and maximum twice a month, when circumstances warrant.
j. The state will allocate a fund of 2% of total annual income tax paid by media companies, whose resources will be allocated to Technical Committee Academic Journalism (CTAP)
50% for administration and operation, and 50% for wholly or partially covering training projects submitted, prior call for collateral organizations (organizations of journalists’ associations) duly constituted with legal status in the Republic of Panama, and whose objectives are training and professional development of Journalists and Reporters Graphics. The costs of approved projects shall be presented in a report, within one month after it made the CTAP.
k. in order to contribute to the overall improvement of the journalists’ union. Also you have the responsibility to organize two (2) annual training on journalistic ethics, and sent to the CTAP the list of participants who met and approved the training.
J.5. The CONAPE and the Union of Journalists of Panama shall submit to the CTAP, within the immediate fiscal year that ends March 31, the original document and a copy of audito accounting for the use of those funds, in order to work so transparent against the country.
J.6. Each year in January, auditors from the Comptroller General of the Republic, will hold an accounting audited funds administered by the CTAP, where he also presented copies of the accounting auditos submit CONAPE and the Union of Journalists of Panama.
Analyze and / or approve requests for recognition of news organizations to be part of this CTAP. If approved, the requirements for entry shall be contained in the rules of procedure CTAP.

Article 11.
Requirements for obtaining the certificate of professional accreditation for Panamanians:
to. Original and copy of Bachelor present in Journalism, Bachelor of Social Communication; either Masters or PhD in any of the disciplines or specialties that exist in the media, granted by a public or private national university of the country, either legally revalidated the title at the University of Panama. If the title is in a different official language of the Republic of Panama language, you must submit a certified copy of the translation of the title by a Public Translator.
b. Original and copy of credits. If they are in a different official language of the Republic of Panama language, you must submit a certified copy of the original loans to the translation by a Public Translator.
c. Copy of the personal identification.
d. Certificate stating it as a member of two professional organizations nationwide Journalism, one of which should the National Association of Journalists of Panama (CONAPE) and the other must also be accredited in the country and legal status.
e. Two 2×2-inch size photos in color.
f. Receipt of the request for professional accreditation, which is not returnable in case of rejection.

Article 12.
Requirements for obtaining the certificate of professional accreditation for Foreigners Transitional:
to. Original diploma and a copy duly authenticated by the Panamanian consulate of the country concerned and certification authenticated by the Embassy in Panama the country of origin.
b. Credits and original copy authenticated by the Panamanian consulate of the country concerned and certification authenticated by the Embassy in Panama the country of origin.
c. Authenticated copy of the passport.
d. Two (2) photo size 2×2 inch color.
e. Original written request from the Professional Accreditation Transient, noting the specific area and / or title and the name of the media company which intends to exercise.
f. Official letter of application from the Middle communications company that supports the necessity of such employment, which may be considered if it is found that there is a Panamanian professional in the territory with the same specialty or related to exercise that position.
g. Receipt of the application for Temporary Professional Accreditation, which is not returnable in case of rejection.
Article 13.
Press card issued by companies in social media must contain the following documents:
Full name of the journalist or Photojournalism, 2×2 inch color photograph, identity card number, expiration date, code of professional accreditation, and blood type.

Article 14.
Professional Accreditation is granted by the Academic Technical Commission of Journalism is mandatory, non-transferable, and press card, and will be required by the authorities and State agencies for the purposes of the exercise of these rights without any restrictions other than expressly determined by the competent authority:

a) The freedom of movement on public roads when exceptional events prevent the exercise of this right;
b) Open access to all sources of information of public interest;
c) Open access to railway stations, airports, sea and river ports and any dependence on the state, whether national, provincial or municipal. This power may only be used for the exercise of the profession.

Chapter III

Article 15.
The journalist is entitled to a salary commensurate with their educational background and work experience according to the following criteria:
1. the sum of one thousand dollars (B /. 1,000.00) per month is established nationally as a starting salary for Journalists
3. establishes the starting salary for Graphic Reporter Journalist, nationally, B / 800.00 monthly.
2. For radial micro and small enterprises and legally constituted print or digital alternative media established for journalists and reporter in the Labor Code shall be considered as a starting salary.

Paragraph 1: In the case of companies that have staff with more than 10 years practicing as journalists and reporters Graphics or as national correspondents, and have worked as News Provider or its equivalent as Professional Service continuously, shall put up on their social security contributions, which stopped paying them over the years who have worked continuously for the company, the date of enactment of this law, so that they start from zero, but with justice and corporate social responsibility.
Paragraph 2: The salary of Panamanian professionals (journalists or Photojournalists) will not be less than that of a foreigner in any of the positions they hold inherent in the exercise of professional activities within a medium. And only a foreigner can occupy a position within half as long as Panamanian professionals accredited in the Republic of Panama to occupy not exist.
3. Media companies state and private media should provide journalists life insurance and accident and hospitalization for Journalists and Photojournalists, in order to provide protection, since the profession is considered high risk not only because the coverage in hard to reach areas that endanger the lives of journalists, but coverage of events, politicians and high-profile cases that put their safety at risk. This policy will come into effect after publication in the Official Gazette of this law, and will be permanent.

4. This regulation shall be the basic salary to accrue, except better labor agreement with the employer.
5. This will take effect after the enactment of the law, and is considered permanent, all Journalists and Reporters Graphics professionals who have been in office working for the company two years or more without interruption.
6. In this law there is no territorial distinction for wage and applies equally across the country.

Chapter IV

Article 16.
The Disciplinary Tribunal shall be elected as follows:
1. The members of the Disciplinary Tribunal shall be nominated by journalists’ organizations represented at CTAP you credit properly and with legal personality, the representations of the universities to the CTAP, and the representation of the National Journalism Council (CNP).
2. Each organization of journalists (CONAPE, Union of Journalists of Panama, APCH, Columbus Circle, University of Panama, the representation of private universities with faculties and schools of Journalism and Social Communication, and the NPC will postulate four ( 3) professionals to integrate the Disciplinary Tribunal, which will Journalists renowned and moral solvency, with more than 15 years in professional journalism and have not been punished or convicted of a crime related to the exercise of the profession, by competent authority.

3. The members of the Academic Technical Commission of Journalism (CTAP) chosen by voting of the principles by organizations, by a vote of half plus one, six (6) members to be three main and their alternates .
4. The members of the Disciplinary Tribunal will occupy this position for a period of two (2) consecutive years, and may not be reelected in office, neither the principal nor the alternate.

to. The technical committee ACADEMIC Journalism, fifteen days after his inauguration, announced the opening between organizations for the nomination of the members of the Disciplinary Tribunal, for which will have a maximum of 30 calendar days from the opening of nominations for candidates submit documentation that accredits.
b. ACADEMIC TECHNICAL COMMITTEE OF JOURNALISM convene the board within 15 days immediately closed after the deadline for nominations for the election of members of the Disciplinary Tribunal for the positions of:
b.1. The President, who shall convene and preside over meetings;
b.2. The Rapporteur and
b.3. The Secretary; each with their respective alternates.
c. The CTAP the end of their meeting issued a press release informing the national election results of the Disciplinary Tribunal. It shall be published in at least two national media.

Article 17.
The functions of the Disciplinary Tribunal:
The Disciplinary Tribunal shall hear at first instance infringements and violations of the Code of Professional Ethics, when committed by journalists and Photojournalists in the exercise of the profession.
to. Setting the Rules of the Disciplinary Tribunal, which shall be published in the Official Gazette for its entry into force.
b. Apply the sanctions provided in the Code of Ethics, up to and including the suspension of professional accreditation when serious faults are found during the practice of the profession, by the time determined by the code, and the regulations adopted by the Disciplinary Tribunal.
c. The decisions of the Disciplinary Tribunal, in any case, be appealed to the Ministry of Government.

Article 18.
Professional secrecy in journalism has an important role therefore is a personal right to maintain secrecy about their political, philosophical, religious or otherwise, as well as to professional secrecy and subject to its source.

Article 19.
The positions of Director or Deputy Director, owners or Deputy or Associate Director commanding position in the media of private or state companies in all matters relating to journalism, are reserved exclusively for domestic journalists.
The director and replace those who must be Panamanian, have domicile and residence in the country and not have electoral jurisdiction, in full enjoyment of their civil and political rights, not having been sanctioned by the Disciplinary Tribunal within two (2) years .

Article 20.
To hold the position of Secretary of Communication, Head of Press, Communications Manager (s), Director or Deputy Director of Outreach, Communication and Information, in an organ of centralized or decentralized state administration, whether Ministry or Institute or Projects or national or regional, or in some private company, programs are required to comply with the provisions of Article 4 of this law.

Article 21.
The exercising the profession of journalism illegally he shall be punished with imprisonment from two (2) to five (5) years, according to the rules set forth by the Penal Code concerning the illegal practice of the profession Article (377) 381 Chapter IV. It is the responsibility of the criminal jurisdiction to hear and decide the participation in these cases and the prosecution will automatically for complaint or upon request. To this end, the Technical Commission JOURNALISM ACADEMIC may file a complaint with the respective instance.

Article 22.
From the entry into force of this law, the term of one hundred eighty (180) days is set to gain journalism professionals Professional Certification and photo, to the legal exercise of the profession. This period may be extended once, by an additional 180 days or less, by the Academic Technical Commission of Journalism (CTAP), by order published in the Official Gazette, in the case that could not end this initial process of accreditation . Once this term has elapsed, no person shall practice the profession without meeting the requirements of Article 4 of this law, and proceed to the application of Article 21 of this law.

Is recognized acquired rights of journalists and photojournalists who were recognized previously conferred under current legislation does.
Reporter Panamanian establish and recognize:
Freedom of expression is an inalienable right of the people to issue and express their views to inform and be informed, in a truthful, honest and integrated, without restrictions other than those provided for in the Code of Ethics for journalists.
Given that the Constitution enshrines this principle as a universal conquest of man.

While the general regulations will not be enacted that the final provision concerns remain in force all statutory and regulatory provisions.

Therefore, all Panamanian citizens and authorities, observe and enforce this Act.