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12.12.2001

The Poltava media-club: in whose flesh it is a thorn?

   

As early as in December of the last year the newspaper ‘Trudova Poltavshchina’ informed about threats on the side of P. Shemet, a deputy head of the Poltava oblast administration, to the address of journalist Ludmila Kucherenko (Kalashnik) for her investigation of the Khomutets tragedy. He threatened to sack her from the position of the representative of National council of TV and broadcasting in the Poltava oblast. Then Mr. Shemet began to realize his threats. The political denunciation was issued to the National council. The council received this denunciation, which was long, complicated and was, perhaps, compiled by the entire personnel of the directorate of the internal policy. The stress was done on the ‘political unreliability’ of Kucherenko, since it was difficult to reproach her professionalism. A cassette with ‘compromising’ materials was attached to the letter. It contained a video record by the oblast TV company ‘Ltava’ of the seminar ‘The technology of journalists investigations’, where Kucherenko was sitting side by side with an MP and journalist Ivan Bokiy, the formed editor-in-chief of the oblast youth newspaper, where she had worked. It was compromising indeed! By the way, ‘Ltava’ never informed the public about this seminar, but, in spite of the habitual complaints on the shortage of videocassettes, this cassette was shown to needed people and stored for a rainy day.

A commission of the National council came to check the complaint of the oblast administration, but they did not discover any violations of law in executing the duties by Kucherenko. The ‘Poltava side’ kindly handed the commission not only Kucherenko’s articles and as about her, but also the full file on the activities of the local media-club, which she has headed for six years.

In their turn, the leaders of TV and radio organizations of the oblast, who work with L. Kucherenko, defended her. They sent to address of Boris Kholod, the head of the National council, the letter, in which they expressed their anxiety about the pressure on a representative of the council on the side of some oblast authorities, characterized L. Kucherenko positively and wrote that they wanted to see in this position exactly this honest person.

A sitting of the leaders of TV and radio organization of the oblast was held in Poltava. This sitting was chaired by the representative of the National council of TV and broadcasting in the Poltava oblast Ludmila Kucherenko. Igor Kurus, the head of the control-analytical department of the council took part in the sitting. The question of new conditions of licensing TV and radio companies was considered, as well as the order announcing films with elements of violence and erotic.

Here are some more examples how mass media barons in Poltava harass their opponents. A trial was held in Poltava according to the suit of MP O. Masenko to the TV-company ‘Ltava’. The claimant complained that the company did not give him the screen time in December, as it stipulated by the Law ‘On the status of a people’s deputy’. The court took the decision in favor of the deputy and obliged ’Ltava’ to pay several hundreds hrivnas of compensation for moral damage. Besides the company had to give the deputy the not delivered screen time. This is not the first conflict of this type between the people’s deputy and the TV company: last year a similar conflict happened before the referendum. Still earlier the then editor-in-chief of the oblast radio S. Polshchikova just switched off the studio during the transmission, when O. Masenko started to criticize the President’s activities. As we see, the law does not exist for the state TV and radio company: they do whatever they like…

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