Exactly 2 years ago Channel 5 journalists spoke out in protest over suppression of freedom of speech


It is exactly 2 years to the day, 25 October 2004, since journalists from TV Channel 5 and People’s Radio Station “Niko” came out in protest at systematic strangulation of freedom of speech in Ukraine and cases of pressure on Channel 5.

It all began after attempts were made to close down the single channel which at the time was talking about the candidate from the opposition [i.e. Viktor Yushchenko].  The channel’s bank accounts were temporarily blocked. In response employees called an indefinite hunger strike. The rest of the mass media began speaking about the pressure. On 28 October around forty journalists from five television stations stated publicly that they did not want to carry out “temnyki” [instructions to the media on what to cover and how, and what to simply ignore – translator].

This was the beginning of a new page in Ukrainian journalism and of the “journalist revolution” which most of our colleagues throughout Ukraine joined.

On Channel 5 today, throughout the day and evening a marathon is being held dedicated to the events of October and November 2004.

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