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  • Автор: rfgtw
  • Дата: 5-02-2015
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5-02-2015

Ukrainian Media Sector News over period of January 29 - February 4, 2015

Категорія: English » Media Updates

Media Environment during Conflict and When New Government Is in Place

Launch of Investigation: Zeonbud is Monopolist of Digital Format TV Programs Distribution

  • February 3 – According to its press center, the Antimonopoly Committee (AMC) of Ukraine launched an investigationof the LLC "Zeonbud"- digital television of DVB-T2 standard provider – because of its dominant position on the national telecommunications market.  Earlier, on December 23, 2014, the AMC recognized "Zeonbud" to be a monopolist in distribution of TV programs in digital format (standard DVB-T2 (MPEG-4)), http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-02-03/103253

Zaporizhzhya Regional Administration Launches Media Monitoring to Ensure Information Support to Mobilization of the Military

  • February 3 – As informed by Zaporizhzhya regional state administration press service,  media monitoring of anti-Ukrainian propaganda and appeals in mass media will be held shortly in the region. The relevant decision was made at the meeting devoted to the informational support to mobilization, run by the Deputy Head of the Regional State Administration Eduard Gugnin. Recommendations on how to enhance the mobilization process have to be developed based on the meeting results. "In this respect, media monitoring of anti-Ukrainian propaganda has to be activated, non-sanctioned labels and leaflets removed from circulation, and mass movements that can disrupt the mobilization have to be effectively tracked, " - said the Governor, http://zik.ua/ua/news/2015/02/03/u_kyievi_protestuvaly_proty_likvidatsii_derzhavnyh_teleradiokompaniy_561185

Firtash and Liovochkin Now Fully Control Inter TV Channel Stocks

  • February 3 – As reported on the Inter TV channel web-site, the GDF Media Limited and the Inter Media Group Limited , which is under the GDF Media Limited control, bought out the minority shares of the Inter TV channel Private Joint-Stock Company with due changes recorded by Ukraine’s registration authorities. According to the Inter TV channel, 29 % of stocks owned by Russia’s First TV Channel Open JSC, were purchased at market value. In addition, an agreement to purchase 10% of stocks owned by Ukraine’s Pegasus Television Company was reached. The cost of the First TV Channel’s batch of stocks is $100 million USD. The Inter TV channel states that the agreements concluded correspond to the Group DF media business overall management and development strategy. Hence, 100% of the Inter TV channel stocks are fully controlled and managed by the companies owned by businessmen Mr. Dmytro Firtash (majority package) and Mr. Serhiy Liovochkin (minority package), http://www.telekritika.ua/rinok/2015-02-03/103237. Firtash was arrested on an FBI warrant in Vienna in March and is currently under house arrest in the Austrian capital, awaiting extradition to the US on bribery and corruption charges. 
  • February 2 – According to the Ukrinform, the representatives of Ukrainian media, whose journalists keep working in Crimea, stated at the press conference in Kyiv that the pressure on media and attacks towards freedom of speech in Crimea increases from month to month. “There is practically no free media left in Crimea, and the information space is almost completely ‘cleaned up’ to match to the ‘new Russian reality’. The pressure on freedom of speech, which is curbed in many aspects, increases on the peninsula every month. Only five regional media in Crimea could be regarded as objective”, the Editor of the Investigative Journalism Center, Ms. Tetiana Kurmanova, said. The editor of the Public Radio regional network, Ms. Iryna Sedova, reported on the methods of pressure on the Crimean journalists: “Our radio journalists who work in many cities in Crimea inform about the FSB on-going pressure. This includes surveillance, listening phones, and inviting to have ’preventive talks’. Some journalists were tempted to get recruited for collaboration. Besides, the Crimean online media editors report on the demand by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation to censor comments to articles and disclose IP-address commentators. Plus, the threats of physical violence towards journalists do not stop coming via social networks”. Ms. Sedova believes that journalists should not give up and are to keep working on the peninsula. She said: “Now, it is the task of Ukrainian civil society to protect at least the elements of independent journalism remaining in Crimea. The more publicity to all human rights violations on the peninsula is gained, the harder it will be for local authorities to strengthen their position and suppress Crimean people’s rights and freedoms, the freedom of speech in particular”, http://www.ukrinform.ua/ukr/news/krimski_gurnalisti_rozpovili_pro_profilaktichni_besidi_u_fsb_2017040; http://www.telekritika.ua/profesija/2015-02-02/103230
  • February 2 – The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine are going to strengthen measures to prevent the entry of the journalists waging the information war into Ukraine. That was reported by the Advisor to the Head of the Security Service, Mr. Markiyan Lubkivs’ky, while his briefing held on February 2, 2015. He stressed that the Security Service of Ukraine is not at war with media and stated that the SSU “will take a firm stand and act with adherence to principles towards anyone bringing a lie, fouling our reputation and waging the information war against Ukraine”. According to Mr. Lubkivs’ky, the Security Service in cooperation with the State Border Guard Service will enhance the filtration measures at the state border for such journalists as the Lifenews representatives who were expelled from Ukraine, have no chance to work in Ukraine and carry out information aggression. Mr. Lubkivs’ky noted that Russian journalists usually enter Ukraine’s territory informally, without declaring their professional activity and having no accreditation, http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2015/02/2/7057175/; http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-02-02/103216

Pressure on Media and Freedom of Speech in Crimea Increases

  • February 2 – According to the Ukrinform, the representatives of Ukrainian media, whose journalists keep working in Crimea, stated at the press conference in Kyiv that the pressure on media and attacks towards freedom of speech in Crimea increases from month to month. “There is practically no free media left in Crimea, and the information space is almost completely ‘cleaned up’ to match to the ‘new Russian reality’. The pressure on freedom of speech, which is curbed in many aspects, increases on the peninsula every month. Only five regional media in Crimea could be regarded as objective”, the Editor of the Investigative Journalism Center, Ms. Tetiana Kurmanova, said. The editor of the Public Radio regional network, Ms. Iryna Sedova, reported on the methods of pressure on the Crimean journalists: “Our radio journalists who work in many cities in Crimea inform about the FSB on-going pressure. This includes surveillance, listening phones, and inviting to have ’preventive talks’. Some journalists were tempted to get recruited for collaboration. Besides, the Crimean online media editors report on the demand by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation to censor comments to articles and disclose IP-address commentators. Plus, the threats of physical violence towards journalists do not stop coming via social networks”. Ms. Sedova believes that journalists should not give up and are to keep working on the peninsula. She said: “Now, it is the task of Ukrainian civil society to protect at least the elements of independent journalism remaining in Crimea. The more publicity to all human rights violations on the peninsula is gained, the harder it will be for local authorities to strengthen their position and suppress Crimean people’s rights and freedoms, the freedom of speech in particular”, http://www.ukrinform.ua/ukr/news/krimski_gurnalisti_rozpovili_pro_profilaktichni_besidi_u_fsb_2017040; http://www.telekritika.ua/profesija/2015-02-02/103230.

Strict Attention to Russian Journalists Entering Ukraine

  • February 2 – The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine are going to strengthen measures to prevent the entry of the journalists waging the information war into Ukraine. That was reported by the Advisor to the Head of the Security Service, Mr. Markiyan Lubkivs’ky, while his briefing held on February 2, 2015. He stressed that the Security Service of Ukraine is not at war with media and stated that the SSU “will take a firm stand and act with adherence to principles towards anyone bringing a lie, fouling our reputation and waging the information war against Ukraine”. According to Mr. Lubkivs’ky, the Security Service in cooperation with the State Border Guard Service will enhance the filtration measures at the state border for such journalists as the Lifenews representatives who were expelled from Ukraine, have no chance to work in Ukraine and carry out information aggression. Mr. Lubkivs’ky noted that Russian journalists usually enter Ukraine’s territory informally, without declaring their professional activity and having no accreditation, http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2015/02/2/7057175/; http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-02-02/103216

Resolution of Parliament’s Speaker Ensures Transparency in Activities of its Committees 

  • February 1 –  The Parliament’s Speaker Volodymyr Groisman introduced a Resolution instructing the Parliamentary Committees to timely  publicize their meeting schedules, as well as relevant reports, transcripts and audio recordings of the meetings. According to the Resolution, the Parliament’s Speaker must ensure disclosure of the data on MPs’ property ownership, revenues, other information, as reported in their annual tax returns. In addition, the list of MPs’ assistants and consultants shall be updated on the website on a monthly basis. The Parliamentary Committees have to post their meetings’ schedule through internet the next day after it is drafted, inform about any changes and publicize the meetings’ reports, transcripts and audio recordings five working days past each meeting. The Resolution should ensure openness and transparency of the activities of MPs and the Committees prior to amending the Parliament’s Regulations and Laws referring to the Committees’ activities and the status of MPs in Ukraine, http://www.telekritika.ua/kontekst/2015-02-01/103188.

Media Trade Union Condemns Assault On War Correspondent and Public Activist by Police at Kharkiv Checkpoint 

  •  January 30 –  Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) considers a disgrace an accident that took place in the evening of January 29 at the checkpoint near Kharkiv, when the police officers (former “Berkut” members) beat Hromadske.TV journalist,  Luhansk Euro-maidan activist, and Chair of the Board of “Postup” (Progress) human rights center Konstantyn Revutskiy. The IMTUU statement received by "Telekritika” reported that a group of journalists, including Hromadske. TV journalist Nastya Stanko and Polish journalist Pavel Penonzhek, was returning from the ATO zone to Kyiv, when it was attacked by the police. "The situation looks even more disgusting to us, when we think that our colleague is the one who, risking his life and health, makes systematic coverage of the most dangerous war facts. That way, he was "rewarded" by those who would have to protect him! The incident, shows that the tradition to assault journalists initiated by “Berkut” back in the times of Euro-maidan, has not only been broken, but is even successfully maintained" -  IMTUU noted. The Media Trade Union believes that such behavior of the police is the result of the fact that none of the “Berkut” men that committed dozens of brutal crimes against protesters during Euro-Maidan were punished. Mr. Revutskiy’s camera with video reports from Debaltseve, Popasna, Mariupol, together with the evidence of the Ministry of Internal Affairs employees’ actions against him was seized. The witnesses - Hromadske.TV journalist Nastya Stanko and the journalist of the Polish "Political Critique" Pavel Penonzhek - also were attacked and afterwards reported the incident and names of the police officers who detained them:  Riyako, Kostyuk and Goncharenko, http://nsju.org/item/4685

Media Legislation

Parliament Rejected Draft Law On Increasing National Council’s Powers in Termination of Licenses

  • February 3 – The Parliament did not support a draft Law #1889 “On Amendments to several Laws of Ukraine to strengthen sanctions against broadcasters for violations of the law on TV and Radio”. Despite the fact that Victoria Syumar, Chair of the Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information, proposed changes in the conditions of termination of the broadcasters’ licenses, i.e. the National Council on TV and Radio would be able to terminate only through the court decision, the bill was supported only by 189 MPs (236 is required). The initial version of the draft Law expanded the authority of the National Council and granted the right to terminate licenses (for the 3-month period) without a court decision. After getting a negative reaction from Parliament to that version, Syumar proposed to change a provision – to allow the National Council to terminate licenses through the court decisions only. That draft Law was rejected as well.The draft Law failed to be re-considered since only 191 MPs voted for that. Thus, the draft Law #1889 is classified as rejected by the Parliament, http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-02-02/103203 .
  • February 3 – Victoria Syumar, “People’s Front” MP and the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information, said that the Ukrainian Parliament is run by the oligarchs who own media groups. This is how Ms. Syumar evaluated a failure in voting for the draft Law #1889 “On Amendments to several Laws of Ukraine to strengthen sanctions against broadcasters for violations of the law on TV and Radio”: "We are witnessing how the Ukrainian Parliament is controlled by the oligarchs who own media groups and who do not want their media to be regulated by the state. We weaken Ukraine when making such an agreement with the oligarchs. And those MPs who did not vote, are well aware what they did it for”,  http://www.telekritika.ua/pravo/2015-02-03/103280.
  • February 3 – Three Presidents of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and Victor Yuschenko expressed their opinion on the draft law #1889 “On Amendments to several Laws of Ukraine to strengthen sanctions against broadcasters for violations of the law on TV and Radio”. Their open letter stated: “We warn the Ukrainian Parliament from rash steps. A step off from the European way of development, that Ukraine is following, threatens the loss of democratic foundations, and a sharp turn toward dictatorship, totalitarianism, of which our country have suffered enough. The best answer to someone else's propaganda can be honest, open and democratic position rather than a copied Russian Law or pseudo soviet censorship.” The Presidents noted that right now Ukraine is facing a historic challenge, and "the key to reform is the government's transparency, openness and accountability… At the same time, today the Parliament proposed the bill that can neutralize this important factor of democracy. Lawmakers from the coalition offered to consolidate the state powerful instrument to influence media, pass on the function of the court. The separation of powers into three branches is the fundamental democratic principle ensured by the Constitution of Ukraine”, http://interfax.com.ua/news/political/248409.html. The draft law was voted down by Parliament on February 3rd.

U-MEDIA PARTNERS’ ACTIVITIES

  • February 2 – Lviv Press Club (LPC) conducted an online video bridge between Lviv and Vinnytsia discussing print media de-statization process. Dmytro Posypanko, Director of communications at Lviv Council, said that de-statization is not in the priority list. There is a war conflict in the East and there is no time for experiments. If the de-statization process is launched, then regional municipal newspapers will cease to exist since will not be able to find money. Vasyl Babiy, the Deputy Chairman of the board of editors of state media of Vinnytsia region, reported that half of the regional state newspapers (27 in total) will agree to become informational newsletters if state funding will be continued. Video is available at http://bit.ly/16dIcYU.

Upcoming Events

  • February 11, Mykolayiv – Institute for World Policy (IWP) will organize a workshop for journalists from all over Ukraine to discuss the European integration media coverage. The participants will discuss peculiarities of the topic of the European integration in media, best practices of the countries which already went through the European integration, and the impact of journalists on the democratic processes in Ukraine, http://iwp.org.ua/ukr/public/1368.html.

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