Poltava oblast media club published the White Book of the Poltava journalism (1997-2003)
The White Book was published with the support of the International Foundation “Vidrodjennia”. Its presentation was held on 19 November in the National Union of journalists of Ukraine.
The publication of the White Book of the Poltava journalism is the first attempt to represent the generalized picture of the situation with mass media in the Poltava oblast, first of all, the pressure on journalists and violations of the freedom of speech. This is a collection of various official documents, mass media materials, letters of readers, listeners and viewers.
According to the data of public expertise of the level of the freedom of speech conducted by the Center “Suspilstvo”, the Poltava oblast occupies the 22nd place out 26 (25 oblasts and Kyiv). The situation has not improved during several last years, on the contrary, today the Poltava oblast is far from democracy as never before. The oppression of the freedom of speech in the oblast became a common phenomenon. And it is known that the violation of journalists right for free collection and distribution of information results in the violation of the right of citizens for obtaining the objective and unbiased information. It seems that the Poltava oblast authorities has already used all methods of pressure on mass media. In what follows we adduce the list of such methods:
- dismissal of journalists and editors, who dare to criticize the power;
- closure of disobedient mass media with the help of tax inspection, sanitary inspection, fire inspection, etc.;
- seizure of property and bank accounts of the mass media disagreeable to the power;
- unofficial prohibition to printing-houses to publish the opposition mass media;
- prohibition to businessmen to publish their advertising in such mass media;
- prohibition to sellers of periodicals to distribute the opposition mass media;
- thefts, organized by special services, of the runs of opposition mass media from printing-houses;
- publication of falsified issues of opposition mass media;
- impediment to the mass media during the subscription campaigns;
- preventing the delivery of the mass media to the subscribers;
- restriction of the access to information of the disloyal mass media (non-admission to the meetings, sessions and press conferences, ignoring of informational requests, etc.);
- organization of the campaigns in the pro-power mass media for discrediting the disobedient journalists (the so-called “informational killing”);
- enormous sums of claims handed against the opposition mass media and journalists, as well as satisfaction of these claims by the corrupted courts;
- jamming of foreign radio stations with transmissions of the local stations;
- jamming of the TV companies conflicting with the authorities by the military radio-relay stations;
- illegal switching off the opposition TV companies from cable networks;
- intimidation and beating of disobedient journalists;
- organization of the attempts at journalists and their physical extermination.
Yes, the physical extermination! The first journalist, who perished in the independent Ukraine (1992) was MP from Kremenchug Vadim Boyko, a young TV journalist of the popular TV studio “Gart”. In 2002 the Poltava media club organized the premium for journalists bravery named after V. Boyko.
(«The Poltava oblast media club”, No. 57, 24 November 2003)