“TV Channel 5” refused permission to broadcast Yanukovych live



On 10 August 2006, in violation of the Laws “On information” and “On television and radio broadcasting”, the Channel 5 film crew were prohibited from broadcasting live the press conference given by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

In a telephone conversation with the Channel 5 General Producer Yury Stets, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson Denis Ivanesko stated “Another television channel holds the exclusive right to broadcast live the press conference of the Head of the Government”.

Yury Stets comments: “I find quite inexplicable the logic of such an explanation which manifests contravenes not only the fundamental principles of a democratic society – transparency and openness of the state authorities, which include the Head of the Ukrainian Government, but which also in general place in question the principles of transparent and public activity which are constantly proclaimed by the team of the new Prime Minister”.

The Chief Editor of the Channel 5 news Mykhailo Kukin explains: “The agreement on broadcasting with the Ukrainian National Television Channel (UT-1) was reached yesterday, yet a few hours before the actual event UT-1 cancelled it. Channel 5 was technically ready to carry out the live broadcast itself which it attempted to explain to the Prime Minister’s spokesperson up to the very beginning of the press conference. However permission was not given”.

We appeal to the Head of the Press Service, Denis Ivanesko to provide an explanation for this unfortunate incident and to state which normative acts or other documents were applied as grounds for the decision to refuse Television Channel 5 permission to broadcast the press conference live.

We would also ask him to explain on what principle and on what grounds in general television channels are granted the right to live broadcasts.
We also wish to stress that the first information television channel which Channel 5 prides itself on being - the “channel of honest news”  is disturbed that through this refusal of the Press Service of the Prime Minister of Ukraine the right of our citizens to information of social importance has been placed in doubt.

We are ready to provide broadcasting time for any explanations and commentaries concerning this regrettable incident.

We believe that the new Government headed by Viktor Yanukovych reflects a position which does leave room for true freedom of speech and such concepts as “political censorship” and “commercially commissioned material” or the “exclusive broadcasting rights” have nothing in common with the activities of the Press Service of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, and were finally relegated to the past back in 2004.

We would like to believe that the incident involving an attack on a filming crew from TV Channel STB by State Deputy from the Party of the Regions O. Kalashnikov, and the refusal to allow Channel 5 into the press conference of the Prime Minister of Ukraine are not the deliberate policy of the new government, but merely regrettable lapses.

We would assure you that we will continue to carefully, objectively and honestly follow and cover the activities of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine since this is our professional duty.

The Press Service of Channel 5

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