Media Union warns of danger of censorship on TV 1 + 1



The Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine is concerned by the latest removal of a feature from the Money programme on TV 1 + 1. Once again, it points out, the “victim” is an item concerning the activities of those in power.

This time it was a feature by Roman Vintoniv about the Party of the Regions conference which was to focus on Serhiy Tihipko (whose party announced its formal merging into the Party of the Regions at the conference – translator).

The previous occasion was a feature by Oleh Deineka, then Presenter of the Money programme regarding the work of the Khmelnytski Governor, a member of the Party of the Regions, Vasyl Yadukha.

Such a selective approach in removing items just before they’re due to be broadcast indicates a serious threat of censorship which has recently emerged with respect to the entire 1 + 1 media group. This is censorship ineptly camouflaged as editorial policy or editorial standards.

In response to a letter to the 1 + 1 management regarding the removal of an item and subsequent dismissal of Oleh Deineka, the media union received the response that the journalist had not being working on the channel, but in the Foreign Enterprise “1 + 1 International” which does not have an editorial charter. Has the channel thus created a means of evading compliance with legislative norms regarding a mandatory editorial Charter and Editorial Council for each TV channel?

With respect to this, the Media Union deems it necessary to send a formal information request to the TV and Radio Broadcasting Ciouncil regarding compliance with licence conditions of the Studio 1 + 1 company. We will also be asking the Broadcasting Council to provide an official explanation regarding whether items appearing on any channel must comply with the requirements of the editorial Charters adopted on those TV channels.

The Media Union demands that the list of members of the Editorial Council of the Studio 1 + 1 company be immediately made public, as well as the editorial Charter and the agreement regarding the principles of editorial policy signed between the journalists and owners of this channel.

Roman Vintoniv feature on the Party of the Regions conference and the self-dissolution of the Strong Ukraine Party was prepared for 21 March and was supposed to be broadcast on the Money Programme.  It did not appear in the programme that day since its broadcast was postponed until 28 March. However, the feature was then once again removed just before the programme went to air.

In the official commentary from representatives of the Money programme, it was claimed that Roman Vintoniv’s item supposedly did not fit in the programme format. Yet in May last year an item by the same journalist with the same format was broadcast on the programme. Then this was acceptable, although that involved the same provocative questions, that time to show business stars. Yet, the Media Union’s statement reads, when the questions were put to politicians, the feature ceased to fit into the programme’s format. 

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