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24.06.2008

Chernovetsky was May’s record-breaker for buying news time

   

The journalist initiative “We’re not for sale!” has just published the results of its monitoring of television channels in May.  As always, they watch for material presented on nationwide television news programmes which do not meet the standards of topicality, significance and balanced presentation.

In May they found that the channel ICTV had showed the most such questionable “mews” items, and newsreader Olena Frolyak had read the most.

The main “record” in May for news items which suggest that they were bought was held, for the second month running, by Leonid Chernovetsky and his electoral bloc who fought – and won – the early elections for Kyiv Mayor and City Council.

This was the conclusion reached by independent experts: Natalya Ligachova, Chief Editor of “Telekritika”, Victoria Syumar from the Institute for Mass Information, Taras Shevchenko from the Media Law Institute and Vitaly Maximov from the publication “Dyelo” [“Business”

We don’t normally give the detailed lists of those featured in suspect news items assuming that they will not say much to those outside Ukraine.  This time, the list needs little explanation.

 

Whose interests were served  how many such “news” features

Leonid Chernovetsky                                                                                       41

Viktor Pylypyshyn and the People’s Party                                                        13

Oleksandr Turchynov and BYuT (Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko)                         12

Vitaly Klichko and his bloc                                                                               9

Oleksandr Pabat and TAK                                                                              8

Oleh Tyahnybok and “Svoboda”                                                                     7

Vasyl Horbal and the Party of the Regions                                                       6

Mykola Katerynchyk and his bloc                                                                   6

Ludmila Suprun and NDP                                                                               5

Oleksandr Omelchenko and his bloc                                                               4

Yury Lutsenko and Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence                               1

(three other parties received one vote each)

 Victoria Syumar says that all politicians during the Kyiv elections “without exception” bought news time.

Vitaly Maximov points out that paid silence should also be taken into account.  Television channels are becoming more clever in disguising such commissioned material but it does not change the essence of the matter, i.e. that the voters are being deprived of information about the elections.

“The fact that many presenters month in, month out read commissioned news story is our defeat. We were able to draw attention to corruption on television, but could not convinced our journalist colleagues that they can and should put an end to this corruption. “We’re not for sale needs new ideas on how to achieve this objective”. Acknowledges Yehor Sobolyev, organizer of the initiative.

The television journalists who carried out the monitoring of commissioned material have decided to pass it to “Telekritika” and the Institute for Mass Information. The experts from these organizations will not only confirm the presence of questionable material, but will name the presenters of the television channels that they appeared on and ask the production groups why this information was broadcast.

Natalya Ligachova mentioned also that they are planning to expand the monitoring, drawing attention, for example, to material which is broadcast after the news, or in other programmes.

The journalist initiative “We’re not for sale!"  (From material at www.telekritika.ua)

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