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today 30.09.2016 21:35
(by Kyiv time)


Kharkiv Human Rights Group Social Networking

March saw increase in seemingly commissioned news on TV


Monitoring regularly carried out by Telekritika (over one week every month) shows an increase in March in the overall amount of material showing signs of being made to order (censorship) as compared with February.

The monitoring team believes the results may be due to an increase in the number of topics of importance to the authorities 

During the week there was a fairly large amount of material mentioning the opposition in a negative light. This was, in the main, subjects linked with the prison conditions and treatment of former Prime Minister and opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko;  the report by the investigative commission under Inna Bohoslovska regarding the gas accords; the opposition’s refusal to meet Yanukovych; the exclusion from BYUT of Natalya Korolevska and others.

There was a noticeable increase in infringements over failure to separate facts from opinion on ICTV and TV Ukraina.  The trend did not only apply to material identified as likely to be commissioned, but in all material on the channels.

The monitoring also provided an overview of the key socio-political topics presented with signs of having been commissioned (censorship).

For example, on 12 March all channels except TV 5 broadcast material from a press conference given by the first deputy head of the President’s Administration, Iryna Akimova, stating that there was money in the budget to provide for the “social intiatives” announced by Yanukovych on 7 March. Most channels presented the story only from one side and without proper background.

Another example was seen on 15 March when all channels breached standards of balance of views, comprehensiveness of information, and separation of facts and opinion, in covering the unproductive vote for Human Rights Ombudsperson (in which neither candidate received enough votes). None of the channels gave full background about the two candidates: Yevhen Zakharov and Valeria Lutkovska.

On 17 March, there were signs of commissioned material and failure to separate fact from subjective assessment in coverage of the ruling Party of the Regions’ congress and its merger with the Strong Ukraine party.

There was also an increase in the number of subjects muffled, contrasting with an increase in the number of events involved. For example, during that week there were more protests, mainly in the regions; more information about a fall in people’s standard of living or specific aspects of this; information about behaviour by the enforcement bodies against the opposition or individuals, while the channels reported these less.

The channels monitored are: the state-owned UTV-1; Inter; ICTV, 1 + 1; STB; Novy Kanal; TV 5 and TV Ukraina.

The monitoring is carried out by Telekritika with the financial support of USAID and Internews Network. 

see also:
Journalist Union concerned about dismissal of Editor prior to the elections
Chief Editor in UNIAN dispute leaves
Open letter to Igor Kolomoyskyi about UNIAN
Apparent compromise in the UNIAN dispute
Conflict and allegations of censorship in UNIAN information agency
Chronicle of freedom of speech, or its absence
State-owned UTV-1 refuses to broadcast opposition forum even for a fee
International Delegation Expresses Press Freedom Concerns in Ukraine
International delegation to meet Ukrainian President over press freedom concerns
Ukraine’s promises on media freedom and the Gongadze case not kept
Journalists demand real investigation into Gongadze case
Myroslava Gongadze: “A Country that launders criminals”
Court of Appeal upholds ruling closing prosecution against Kuchma
Court upholds criminal investigation against Mykola Melnychenko
Myroslava Gongadze appeals decision to quash charges against Kuchma
Prosecutor appeals quashing of Kuchma case
Ukraine’s Independent Media Union and Reporters without Borders condemn Kuchma court ruling