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11.11.2008

Government plans moral censorship of the media

   

On the proposal of the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council [the Council] and the Expert Commission on the Protection of Public Morals [the Commission], the Cabinet of Ministers is planning to sign public agreements with the heads of media outlets on the protection of morals in Ukraine’s information realm. The information agency UNIAN reports that this proposal was approved on Tuesday at a joint meeting of the Council and the Commission which was chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Vasyunyk.

According to Mr Vasyunyk “The trend towards a reduction in the general moral and ethical level of Ukraininan television and radio production is evident. Material is more and more often being circulated by TV and radio which are attacking what is of religious sacred significance, State symbols, denigrating the national worth of the people and the individual, cultivating a spirit of intolerance, brutality, propagandizing xenophobia, distorting Ukrainian history and disregarding the spiritual achievements of previous generations of Ukrainians.”

The Deputy Prime Minister believes it necessary to strengthen coordination of the state authorities in the field of public morals. He says though that he does not think one should get carried away with repressive mechanisms in this sphere.

“A repressive path is without prospects and doomed to failure. The only legal mechanism in my view can be dialogue between state institutions and those providing information services via the television channels, radio and Internet. The result of such dialogue should be a mechanism for self-regulation”, he added.

Those present at the meeting today approved a decision to create a special working group on preparing a public agreement which would clearly spell out, in Mr Vasyunyk’s words, all spoken and unspoken rules”.

He mentioned that the next stage would be to prepare a new version of the law “On the project of public morals”.

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