Monitoring of local mass media in 5 towns of the Prykarpatskiy region


The monitoring of local mass media, which that was carried out in 5 towns of the Prykarpatskiy region, showed that there were no independent mass media in four of these towns (except Burshtyn). For instance, the newspaper “Ratusha” (Bolekhiv) was founded by the town council, and the editor and journalists of this edition are officially employed by this power organ.

Administration of the mass media, which were visited by the representatives of the newspaper “Vikna”, did not regard the privatization of communal and state mass media as panacea, and openly protested against it. Journalists do not conflict with the administration of mass media, since they are absolutely law-abiding, as well as the editions themselves. Almost all provincial mass media have the same problems: pay arrears (since February), inadequate technical base, low salaries and, sometimes, the unbearable work conditions. In particular, the Galytsky district radio company, which is situated in one building with the shop “Seed”, works without the license since March 2003 and without the accountant, who left the company in December 2002. However, the journalists dare to protest only in private talks.

Local printed editions religiously obey “temniks” – the recommendations spread by the Directorate in charge of the press and information. After the appointment of a new editor of the newspaper “Golos opislia” (Rogatin), all heads of the departments were dismissed because of bad financing. Among them journalist Miron Melnik was dismissed, who now has legal proceedings with the administration of the newspaper. He believes that the dismissal violated his journalist’s rights, that is was caused by his disobedience and publication of critical materials that displeased the new editor.

Salaries in local mass media faintly exceed the minimum wage.

The situation in Burshtyn is much more optimistic. A private TV company exists there, which successfully competes with town mass media. The existence of the TV company “RAI” proves that private mass media can exist even in small provincial towns. The TV company has modern office, digital equipment and decent salaries.

Oksana Guzinets-Mudrik, the newspaper “Vikna”, Kalush, the Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, July 2003

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