Stop Censorship wants investigation into commissioned news stories


Well-known journalist Mustafa Nayem on Wednesday put forward demands from the civic movement Stop Censorship at the latest meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech.

He asked MPs to react to the huge number of commissioned news stories in the media and asked the Committee to officially call on the management to TV channels and printed publications to clearly mark material presented to viewers or readers on an advertising basis.  This concerns all material and the marking should make it immediately clear to the audience that they are dealing with advertising material.

Stop Censorship also asks the Committee to officially call on the management to TV channels and printed publications to make public a list of all commercial products, as well as their pricelist. “We are seeing how on many channels there are some kind of material, accompanying reports, interviews. We later find out that this was on a commercial basis, yet the viewer did not know this. We also know that there are interviews in a lot of journalists which were ordered by the advertising department. We consider that it is the duty of all media publications to observe legislation on advertising and information”.

Mustafa also remind the Committee about the assault on journalists in a Donetsk supermarket (the journalists were trying to do a feature about items beyond their sell-by date). He asked for clarification for journalists and the heads of commercial structures regarding whether journalists have the right to take such video footage.

He similarly asked for clarification regarding the statement on Wednesday from the SBU [Security Service] suggesting that journalists filming with concealed cameras could face criminal liability.

The Committee decided to review the last two questions in detail at their meeting on 11 April.

With regard to the Stop Censorship statement, they will comment after considering its content in detail. 

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