Journalists affirm “Were not for sale!”
On 6 November, members of the journalist initiative “Were not for sale!” issued a Statement from journalists of Ukrainian television channels.
As journalists of Ukrainian television channels we must state that television is once again turning into a crooked mirror.
Features on news broadcasts that are paid for, guests who buy broadcasting time, television programmes on commission have ceased to be isolated unfortunate cases. They are becoming a mass-scale phenomenon, a well-developed industry which is driving out real news, analysis and discussion.
Effectively, as in the time of censorship from 2002 – 2004, television is distorted public opinion about what is happening.
It is not only viewers who lose out from this, but also the media, their owners, journalists and journalism in general with confidence in them falling.
As then, we are not prepared to put up with this and are calling for the establishment in all media outlets of the following standards:
- The right of choice of topics and guests must rest exclusively with the presenters, editors and journalists creating a particular programme.
- In making this choice, they must show unwavering adherence to the professional principles of the significance and relevance for society and the need to present all important points of view.
- Each television channel should have an authoritative and really functional editorial council..
We hereby pledge not to take part in creating or broadcasting material which has been commissioned or which infringes professional standards.
We call on all politicians and businesspeople to refrain from buying programmes and feature items. This is ineffective, short-sighted and works against you.
The Statement at the time of publication had 62 signatures, however it is open and we hope the number will increase.