Portuguese media express outrage at politicians' proposed new rules on election coverage

Portugal's leading media companies are in uproar over proposals by political parties that would require journalists to submit their election coverage plans to a central committee for approval.

The country's three main parties are working on a new law that aims to ensure fairness and impartiality in election coverage.

A draft of the law, disclosed Friday, includes a proposal for coverage plans to be presented to a committee including officials from the National Electoral Commission and the Media Regulatory Body. Failure to do so would bring a fine of up to 50,000 euros ($54,000). The Journalists' Union called the proposal "absurd."

Officials working on the draft say it is still open to discussion.

A delegation from main media organizations is due to present its objections to Portugal's president next week.