13.12.2002 | Inna Sukhorukova, Kharkiv

The conflict between Chernivtsi journalists and the power


The acute conflict between the regional mass media and the head of the Chernivtsi oblast administration reached the culmination. The representatives of the oblast and town mass media had no other way out, but to turn to the President of Ukraine, heads of force structures and ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva.

The journalists insist that the open pressure is exerted upon the journalists and editors of the oblast mass media, that, by the order of the oblast administration, the obedient mass media print the brutal and deceitful materials about those, who does not agree with the policy of governor. The journalists inform the central state power: "As early as in September 2002 editor of the newspaper "Chas" Petro Kobevko was attacked and beaten. The editor was the defendant in a trial held by the claim of governor Teofil Bauer. The attackers have not been found until now, and the public is not informed on the investigation progress.

The direct causes for turning to the President and other top state authorities were the statement of governor Bauer at the press conference on 6 December and the statement of Dmytro Myroniuk, the head of the PR-department of the Chernivtsi oblast administration. These statements contained the undisguised threats against the opposition mass media and journalists. It is a shame that there are such officials in our state organs, who permit themselves the pronouncements of the type: "… the newspapers that regard themselves as opposition, must be closed" (Mr. Myroniuk) or "For this they must be beaten on the head. First, those, who tell, and secondly those, who publish…" (Mr. Bauer). In such a way our country may quickly reach the level even not of Belarus, but of Iraq or former Serbia. Now, after the appeal to the top authorities, they will not be able to pretend that they know nothing about the gerrymanders of the Chernivtsi governor.

It is known that fish rots from the head. The power, which violates laws or allows its officers to do this, becomes illegitimate. At any moment such power may wait some illegal actions on the side of citizens, since namely the power was the first, who abused the social agreement, which is the Constitution.

The messages from the various regions of Ukraine make us to draw the conclusion that the strain in the society grows rapidly. It is strange that the power disregards this situation!

However, we hope that the President and other representatives of central power will react at the Chernivtsi journalists’ appeal without delay. The facts presented by the journalists undermine the authority of the entire executive power. And if the power is interested in this authority, then the actions of such "keen" officials as Teofil Bauer must be punished quickly and adequately.

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