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Institute of Mass Information published its monitoring of journalists' right for the first half of 2015. Physical aggression against journalists in Ukraine started to decrease: for the first half of 2015 IMI experts registered 23 assaults against journalists in Ukraine, which is almost 11 times less than in the same period of 2014  (249 assaults), and by 1.5 times less than in the second half of 2014 (37 assaults).

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For you attention, the recent weekly briefer for Ukrainian media sector developments over period of June 25 - July 1, 2015. You may subscribe for weekly briefers by sending request to [email protected]

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> 15-01-2015

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Weekly overview of Ukrainian media sector news: Reporters without Borders found Ukraine as one of the most dangerous countries for journalsits, media NGOs in Ukraine and Russia urge the journalists of both countries to not burn the informational war, EU encourages the Ministry of Information to protect media freedom and produce high quality product for audience abroad. To subscribe for U-Media weekly briefers, please write us on [email protected]

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  • Автор: rfgtw
  • Дата: 15-01-2015
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15-01-2015

Ukrainian Media Sector News over period of January 1-14, 2015

Категорія: English » Media Updates

Media Environment during Conflict and When New Government Is in Place      

Gazprom-Media Stops Broadcasting in Crimea

  • January 14 – According to Sevastopol TV provider SevStar, an array of channels of the Russian TV company “NTV+” stopped broadcasting in Crimea. SevStar company reported that “Gazprom-Media” terminated its services in Crimea starting January 1, 2015 because of the threat of Western sanctions. The following Russian channels were switched off: Retro, Healthy TV, Premier, Cinema-Club, Cinema-Hit, Cinema Union, NTV+Tennis, NTV+Our Football, NTV+, Sport+, Cinema+, Our New Cinema, Who Is Who, Spas, HD Fashion. Instead, Sevastopol provider launched the following local channels: Theatre, Amedia 2, Fenix+Cinema, Much TV, For Men, 24 Techno, Weapon, Country Life, Extreme Sports and STV, http://www.telekritika.ua/kontekst/2015-01-14/102488; http://sevastopol.su/news.php?id=70161

Zeonbud Decodes All TV Channels

  • January 13 – Zeonbud followed the decision of the National Council as for free access to the channels broadcast: starting 2015, Zeonbud decoded all channels. Now Ukrainians have access to 32 channels, as well as may choose a type of the digital signal receiver. According to the Chair of the National Council Mr. Yuriy Artemenko, a competition comes to media market in such a way. The state regulatory body will further work for creation of normal conditions at Ukrainian TV-radio information market and protection of consumers’ rights,   http://nrada.gov.ua/ua/news/radanews/22950.html; http://www.telekritika.ua/rinok/2015-01-13/102439

State Committee for TV & Radio Monitors and Evaluates National and Local Government Websites

  • January 12 – The State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine monitored 51 official websites of the central executive bodies and 24 official websites of local authorities. This information was released by the Committee’s Press Service with reference to the results of the study that was conducted by 26 parameters with each parameter reflecting a particular type of the information that should be placed on the websites according to the established regulations. The monitoring demonstrated some slowdown of positive dynamics in government agencies’ transparency for July – December 2014 vs. the preceding study findings in the field. According to the State Committee, this happened particularly due to reforming the central executive bodies system. As to the information availability, relevance and quality, the State Committee considered the websites of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine and the Committee itself as top-rated ones within the pool of the central executive bodies websites, and the official websites of Zaporizhzhia and Sumy Oblast State Administrations within those belonging to local authorities, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-01-12/102402

Luhansk Regional State TV-Radio Company Relocates to Severodonetsk

  • January 12 – As reported on the LOT  TV channel web-site, the Luhansk Regional State Broadcasting Company moved to the city of Severodonetsk, Luhansk region, and resumed its activity after a 7-month break. As worded in the statement, “the war put us to silence for long six months, but recently we’ve got our home back”. According to the Decree issued by the State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine on 28 November 2014, the new legal address of the company is Luhansk region, the city of Severodonetsk, Radians’kyi Provulok (Lane), 59. There was no sentence provided when the Broadcasting Company plans to resume it broadcast, http://imi.org.ua/news/47192-luganska-odtrk-vidnovlyue-svoyu-robotu-z-severodonetska.html

Cabinet of Ministers Plans to Stop Euronews Ukrainian Version

  • January 12 – The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine plans to discontinue the Ukrainian edition of the Euronews international TV channel. The State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting developed an appropriate draft Decree and published it on the Committee’s website in late December 2014. According to the document, the National Television Company of Ukraine (NTCU) shall take actions and (1) terminate the license agreement on establishing the Ukrainian edition of the Euronews international TV channel dated 21 October 2010 that was signed between the NTCU and the Euronews Ltd.; (2) lay off producing the Ukrainian version of the Euronews international TV channel; and (3) sell 2,590 registered shares of the Euronews Ltd. (1%) that belong to the NTCU. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine shall provide funds in Ukraine’s State Budget for 2015 to discharge the NTCU’s  indebtedness to the Euronews Ltd. According to the letter of explanation that supplements the draft Decree, the NTCU will appeal to force majeure for  early termination of  the contract. Earlier in January, Telekritika publicized information that Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash decided to fund Ukrainian service of Euronews,    http://www.telekritika.ua/rinok/2015-01-02/102206. Then Mr. Zurab Alasania, director general of the National TV Company, in his comment to Telekritika, mentioned that he knew about Mr. Firtash’s intention to fund Euronews. At the same time, Mr. Alasania informed that the National TV Company would like to terminate the agreement with Euronews starting 2015, otherwise the National TV Company’s debt to Euronews grows up to EUR17mln, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-01-12/102407

ATO Press Center Issues Press-Cards to Work in Conflict Zone 

  • January 9 – The anti-terrorist operation (ATO) press-center started issuing press-cards to journalists working in the conflict zone, as ATO speaker Andriy Lysenko informed during the briefing. Press-cards allow journalists to fulfill editorial assignments in the ATO zone and in the area of military units’ deployment. To get a press-card, media representatives should go through the preliminary accreditation in the Security Service of Ukraine and then contact the ATO press-center at 098-671-3040. Registration and usage instructions can be found on the website of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine,      http://www.ukrinform.ua/ukr/news/gurnalistam_v_zoni_ato_pochali_vidavati_pres_karti_foto_2008682;

Editor ща Luhansk ьувшф “Poliltika 2.0” Released from 5-Months in Captivity

  • January 6 – Editor-in-chief of “Politika 2.0” on-line publication Serhiy Sakadynsky was released from Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) custody and got back home after  five months incaptivity, first by insurgents, and later by the so-called "LNR Interior Ministry", informs "Telekritika" with reference to the journalist’s wife Maria Havak. Lately, the journalist was held under the supervision as a victim in "criminal proceedings" related to his illegal detention by the LNR battalion. Serhiy Sakadynsky was not released because he allegedly was under the threat. Reportedly, quite a number of people happened to get to the similar circumstances together with Serhiy, http://www.telekritika.ua/profesija/2015-01-05/102259  

Media Legislation

Trade Union & Journalists’ Union Claim Media Accreditation with ATO Headquarters is against the Law 

  • January 13 – Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTU) and National Journalists’ Union, in their joint statement, told that the Guidance on accreditation of media representatives at the operational headquarters of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as the Ministry of Defense’s instruction on use of press-cards for coverage of Ukraine’s military’s actions in the ATO zone, contradicts with the current legislation and authorizes state institutions to interfere in media outlets’ editorial policy and, consequently, worsens the status of freedom of speech in Ukraine. The statement emphasized that chapter 4 of article 25 of the Law On Information contains a provision allowing journalists to stay in the areas of military actions and emergencies, except extraordinary (defined by the legislation) cases. That is why none of the Laws restricts journalists’ work in the ATO and military actions zones. None of the Laws obliges journalists to negotiate with the ATO press-center for fulfillment of their editorial tasks or movements through the military actions areas, as well as the names of TV crews working in the areas. According to chapters 5 & 6 of the Law On State Support of Media and Social Protection of Journalists, a journalist has the right to stay in the areas of military conflicts without any permissions, while possessing a press-card. A journalist is not obliged to get accredited, however, the one is obliged not to distribute confidential information. Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTU) and National Journalists’ Union requested from the State Security Service and Ministry of Defense to develop instructions for journalists’ work in the military actions areas in accordance to the current legislation and guaranteeing non-distribution of confidential information, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-01-13/102458

Amendments to Public Broadcasting Law Accepted in First Reading 

  • January 13 – Parliament voted to accept in the first reading the draft law #1357 on “Amendments to the Law of Ukraine on Public Broadcasting”. The draft Law was developed by Media Reform working group under the Reanimation Package of Reforms and registered by the Parliamentary Committee for Freedom of Speech and Information. The draft Law was voted in its entire content with the condition that the suggestions voiced by MP Victoria Syumar (People’s Front) and MP Mykola Tomenko (Petro Poroshenko’s Block) would be accepted for the second reading. Ms. Syumar said that “without these changes we will not be able to create an independent public broadcaster. Our task is to separate the public channel from the Cabinet of Ministers’ influence and create an alternative to the commercial channels", http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-01-13/102457.

Stop Censorship! Has Concerns about Postponing Public Broadcasting Launch

  • January 12 – Stop Censorship! movement distributed an appeal expressing its concern about the attempts to postpone creation of public broadcasting in Ukraine. The appeal was caused by the alternative draft law #1357-1 registered by MP Mykola Tomenko (Petro Poroshenko’s Block) and the staff statement by the National Radio Company of Ukraine saying that they do not want to be part of the national public broadcasting company of Ukraine. On December 10, 2014 the draft Law #1357 was registered proposing amendments to several Laws of Ukraine in regard to public broadcasting company creation and function. The bill clarifies certain provisions of the Law regarding: NSTU creation mechanism and its legal form; funding sources; labor remuneration; protection of property rights and interests of NSTU employees; improving functions of the Supervisory Board; formation and work principles of supervisory and editorial boards. The changes aim at improving the Law On Public Broadcasting. In return, MP Mykola Tomenko registered an alternative draft law #1371-1 on December 23, 2014 proposing his version of the legal form of the public broadcasting company. Mr. Tomenko considers that radio and TV should be separate legal forms. The Stop Censorship! movement, the Reanimation Package of Reforms Media Group, Telekritika, Institute of Mass Information, Media Law Institute and Center UA expressed their protest on postponing the public broadcasting creation in December 26, 2014. Also, the Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information did not support the alternative draft Law, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-01-12/102403

U-MEDIA PARTNERS’ ACTIVITIES

  • January 9 – Telekritika (TK) prepared video interviews with the Executive Directors of three national media organizations speaking about the results of 2014 for the media sector and the prognosis for its development in 2015. 

Katerina Laba, Executive Director of Regional Press Development Institute, http://bit.ly/1IJTOj9.Ms. Laba considers that Euro-Maidan and the war in the East became a test for Ukrainian media. Despite some systemic problems, journalists succeeded - Ukrainians received accurate information about the events. Ms. Laba reminded that in 2014 many journalistic investigations startups happened, such as "Our money" at ZIK, «Slidstvo.Info" and "Scheme" at First National. The past year also demonstrated that the state can neither guarantee physical safety of the journalists nor is willing to investigate the widespread crimes against media workers. In 2015, media community should defend its rights and seek for justice in investigating attacks on journalists.

 

Katerina Myasnikova, Executive Director of Independent Association of Broadcasters, http://bit.ly/1yj92Ja

Ms. Myasnikova said that 2015 would show if the country is able to carry out media reforms and not to repeat the authoritarian mechanisms in protecting the Government’s interests. In 2014, media advertising market had a 30% drop. According to Ms. Myasnikova, this challenge might encourage media industry to unite and seek for common solutions.

 

Oleksiy Pogorelov, Executive Director of Ukrainian Association of Press Publishers, http://bit.ly/1IwfTDM

Mr. Pogorelov predicts that 2015 will be a complicated year for print media in terms of getting money from advertising. The market had a significant drop in 2014. Also, Mr. Pogorelov highlights that journalists have to become more mobile, be able to monitor, analyze and produce more than just news.