13.12.2001 | Svetlana Rantsants, the head of the Sevastopol Media Center.

Press release of the Sevastopol Media Center


On 7 December the Sevastopol Media Center, created by the Sevastopol human rights protection group, held the round table ’The role of journalists in a democratic society’.

More than 20 representatives of printed and electronic mass media of Sevastopol took part in the round table, among them editors, journalists, founders of mass media and the head of the Information directorate of the Sevastopol city state administration.

Some participants expressed the opinion that the current state of mass media in the region objectively reflects the level of the society development. Mass media are not prepared to be better than the society as a whole, but the improvement of mass media will bring about the improvement of the society.

Other participants told that the role of mass media must change in the conditions of the society transformation: to change the role of a collective agitator and propagandist, which they played under socialism, for the role of ’Cerberus of democracy’, providing citizens with the information that arises public interest.

During the round table the most acute professional problems, which the city journalists encounter, were debated: the access to information, journalist ethics, absence of technical facilities for operative presentation of materials, low salaries and low level of professional preparation of journalists. Many participants were interested in the problem of the selective approach by state organs to the accreditation of journalists. Owners of printed mass media were worried by the fact that the newspapers distributed gratis oust better quality printed informational editions from the market. Some other participants believe that such situation is normal for any competitive environment, and the local mass media have not learned yet to exist in the conditions of free market.

Many participants expressed their common wish to organize the educational program of mass media management in the Media Center.

Roman Romanov, the executive manager of the Sevastopol human rights protection group, and Svetlana Rantsants, the head of the Sevastopol Media Center, presented the program of actions for journalist, which would be organized and held by the Media Center in the nearest two months. Such actions as training in journalist ethics, conducting journalist investigations, elucidating questions connected with human rights, protection of personal data, providing access to information, educational seminar on the legal basics of journalist activities in Ukraine and others are planned within this program.

Because of the coming election it is planned to hold the special meeting devoted to the rules and ways of elucidating election campaigns in mass media. It was decided that the discussion of this topic and the educational seminar would be organized in the second half of December.

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