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25.10.2010

More TV channels muffling important news items

   

The situation with television news broadcasts is worsening as the results of monitoring for September show.

 Table 1: The number of items of a socio-political nature which showed signs of having been commissioned (censorship) 

Channel  

September

August

July

Inter

151

103

96

First National TV – UTV1

126

113

83

ICTV

106

104

99

«1+1»

105

100

60

Channel 5

67

73

41

“Ukraina”

60

33

26

Novy  Kanal

44

35

29

STB

17

16

17


Business commissioned material, save a few cases, has virtually disappeared, however the amount of political commissioned material is continuing to rise with the questionable first going to Inter, the channel owned by media magnate, Head of the Security Service [SBU] and member of the High Council of Justice, Valery Khoroshkovsky.  Second place is taken by the State-owned First National TV Channel [UTV-1], while ICTV is only just ahead of “1 + 1” for third place.

It can be seen that in many cases the number of such commissioned items has risen steeply.

Only STB is consistently holding out with a relatively small number.

The monitoring showed that in September both 1 + 1 and Channel 5 often broadcast material of a probably commissioned nature in unison with Inter, UTV-1 and ICTV.

Telekritika has noted on a number of occasions that the latter three channels very often cover events linked with the government and criminal prosecutions against the opposition in the same way.

 Table 2. Quantity of sponsored (censored) materials in the two main directions:

 

Channel

Positive or neutral material about those in power without balance of views

Negative material about the opposition without balance of views

 

September

August

July

September

August

July

Inter

137

99

91

18

7

9

First National TV – UTV1

114

112

78

13

4

9

ICTV

98

101

90

9

5

8

«1+1»

88

91

57

19

6

7

Channel 5

60

72

41

10

3

3

“Ukraina”

51

31

25

9

3

3

Novy  Kanal

39

32

28

6

1

1

STB

16

15

15

1

3

2


NB The total amount does not necessarily tally with the figures in Table 1 since some material can follow both lines at the same time.

 The general trends remain the same, the difference only that Inter this time overtook UTV-1  One notices a significant increase in positive material about the government on “Ukraina” [owned by Rinat Akhmetov, billionaire and National Deputy from the Party of the Regions].

The situation changed rather in September away from almost totally ignoring the opposition to an increase in negative and unbalanced material. Here the lead is taken by Inter and UTV-1.  Reports were mainly of criminal prosecutions of ex-officials by the new authorities. Material about confrontation in parliament when the opposition demanded a moratorium on communal charges and the raising of the pension age for women was general lacking in balance and objectively and pushed the them of the opposition not knowing what they wanted. The monitoring found a number of commissioned features where various accusations by the government against its predecessors were repeated without background and without those accused given the opportunity to reply.  

 A traditional means of imitating government activity is seen in the standard skimpy reports on various types of meetings, councils, etc.

Table 3 The number of short reports providing an imitation of government activity

Channel  

September

August

Inter

95

45

UTV-1

89

64

ICTV

75

56

«1+1»

51

41

Channel 5

39

31

“Ukraina”

34

17

Novyi Kanal

32

19

STB

12

6

 There was a noticeable decrease in the number of items where facts and opinions were carefully selected to justify government decisions or failures. Most such items are as before found on UTV-1, Inter and ICTV, whereas Channel 5 and Novy Kanal have virtually abandoned such practice.  Neither STB nor “Ukraina” have covered topics in this manner.

 Table 4. Quantity of detailed topics on substantiation of ‘correctness’ of the authorities’ decisions or justification of the authorities’ failures. 

Channel

September

August

ICTV

12

17

Inter

9

21

UTV-1

8

21

«1+1»

5

11

Channel 5

2

5

Novyi Kanal

1

7

STB

0

2

Ukraina

0

1

 

Sponsored and unbalanced material on the success of  enforcement bodies – the Security Service, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Prosecutor General, Customs Service, and Tax Administration was on the same level as in August except for a noticeable increase in such items on “Ukraina”.  

Table 5: The number of short (incomplete and unbalanced) reports on enforcement body success

Channel  

September

August

«1+1»

31

31

Inter

29

20

5 Kanal

17

20

“Ukraina”

15

7

UTV-1

14

15

ICTV

8

9

Novyi Kanal

5

2

STB

3

5

 

However channels mostly omit topics concerning unlawful actions by enforcement bodies and more deaths of people detained or in police custody.  News items ignored included the death of a detainee in a Lviv police station on 9 September, the killing of a motorcyclist by two traffic police and others.

 Table 6:  The types of infringements committed to carry out a political commission (censorship)

Channel  

Balance of opinions

Completeness of information

 

S

A

J

S

A

J

Inter

148

101

96

142

98

95

UTV-1

114

113

83

113

112

81

ICTV

104

103

98

101

99

96

«1+1»

98

93

65

99

92

60

Channel 5

65

69

40

63

70

39

“Ukraina”

58

30

27

55

31

27

Novy Kanal

43

33

28

42

29

28

STB

17

14

16

17

16

16

 

Channel

Separation of facts from opinions

Authenticity

Accuracy

 

S

A

J

S

A

J

S

A

J

Inter

49

26

20

17

27

9

12

5

5

ICTV

41

31

24

12

17

9

9

8

7

«1+1»

40

24

16

15

25

7

10

0

2

UTV-1

34

31

20

19

25

7

9

3

4

“Ukraina”

14

7

3

3

5

1

5

0

1

Novy  Kanal

13

11

9

5

7

4

2

2

2

Channel 5

8

10

5

5

9

3

2

2

1

STB

2

1

1

1

4

1

0

0

1

 Information of public importance avoided by the channels

Political commissioning continues to be exercised to a large extent by avoiding issues or aspects of them, including alternative points of view, expert assessments, specific facts or background where this is inconvenient for the government.

 

Table 7: The number of topics, views, facts or backgrounds avoided 

Channel Name

September

August

July

Inter

410

286

248

ICTV

398

273

228

UTV-1

395

276

253

Novy  Kanal

389

280

227

“Ukraina”

369

265

211

Channel 5

362

243

182

STB

357

238

211

«1+1»

350

252

207

The figures, unfortunately, speak for themselves.

Table 8. The number of protest actions; bans on such protests as well as the action of the police in blocking them and detaining their participants, which received no coverage

Channel  

September

August

July

Inter

36

34

47

UTV-1

35

33

43

ICTV

35

33

41

Channel 5

29

22

31

«1+1»

27

28

35

Novy  Kanal

26

32

38

STB

24

28

34

“Ukraina”

21

25

29

Table 9. The number of times channels said nothing on issues linked with infringements of freedom of speech.

Channel

September

August

July

UTV-1

48

41

25

Inter

47

42

25

ICTV

47

40

25

«1+1»

45

39

23

“Ukraina”

44

40

23

Novy Kanal

43

39

19

STB

40

31

19

Channel 5

38

26

13

 

Table 10. Number of omissions of information regarding the lowering of social standards of the population or certain groups of it (increase of commodity prices, increase in tax rates, communal charges, charges for main services, the raising of the retirement age, closing of public sector institutions and resulting loss of jobs, etc.)

 

Channel  

September

August

July

Inter

68

57

59

ICTV

67

53

55

Channel 5

64

55

52

UTV-1

63

62

63

Novy  Kanal

60

59

62

“Ukraina”

60

55

54

STB

58

58

51

«1+1»

55

50

52

 The monitoring is carried out as part of a project of the Internews Network “U-Meida” on journalist standards. It is being carried out jointly by Telekritika and the Institute for Mass Information.

Abridged from the full report at  

http://osvita.telekritika.ua/material/do-unisonu-iedinoyi-informaciynoyi-politiki-dodayutsya-novi-telekanali

 

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