Ecuador’s media asks govt to stop critical TV ads

QUITO, (Reuters) – Ecuadorean private media groups  have called on the leftist government to stop airing spots on  state television during World Cup matches that accuse  journalists of distorting the truth in the Andean nation.  

Ecuador’s television association said the government  messages “fomented disunion and the stigmatization of those who  do not submit to the interests of the powerful.” 
One spot that has run during World Cup games suggests  reporters are more loyal to the companies that pay them than  they are to the pursuit of the truth.  

“The truth must be the main principle behind freedom of  expression,” the advertisement says.  
Last week a congressional committee approved a bill that  would set up a media watchdog group to ensure print and  broadcast journalists produce “truthful, reasonable” stories.  
The bill now goes to the full Congress for debate.  

The proposal is backed by lawmakers aligned with President  Rafael Correa, who regularly criticizes local newspapers and  television stations that question his leftist policies.

The watchdog panel would aim to ensure that mass  communication is “truthful, reasonable, in proper context and  based on multiple sources.” 

But the seven-member committee, which would include two  people appointed by the president, could not punish journalists  who fall short of those standards.

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