Khmelnytski journalists protest against pressure from Region’s Governor
Khmelnytski journalists have issued a statement entitled “Our Word will be Free” in which they allege that the Head of the Regional Administration, Vasyl Yadukha is putting pressure on regional media outlets.
The statement asserts that at a press conference on 12 November Yadukha accused three regional newspapers of biased coverage of the elections and discrediting the elections in the Khmelnytski region. This, they say, is not the first such reaction from Vasyl Yadukha to journalists’ publication. “Actively speaking through media outlets of the region, especially on television, he and some of his colleagues from the regional branch of the Party of the Regions deems fit to teach journalists what to write and how, expresses outrage or condemns some journalist material and their authors. In addition, some current heads to this day consider themselves entitled to set the topics for municipal media outlets.
Such behaviour by public officials does not comply with the ethical norms for a civil servant and violates the fundamental principles of freedom of speech in Ukraine”.
“Khmelnytski journalists, guided in their work by the constitutional principle of freedom of speech, the professional requirements of objectivity and lack of bias in presenting information are endeavouring to meet the demands of democratic society. We hope that members of the authorities, in particular, the Head of the Khmelnytski Regional State Administration, V. Yadukha, will also recognize their responsibility for affirming democracy in Ukraine which is impossible without free and independent media outlets.
The statement has so far been signed by 20 journalists and signatures are still being collected.
The journalists plan to send their statement to the President’s Administration and to the National Union of Journalists.