Cherkasy: Censorship returns
On 11 April 2012 Larisa Yefremova was appointed new Director General of the Cherkasy regional TV and Radio Broadcaster “Ros”. Over the last few months of active work by the new manager, the situation in the state-owned broadcaster has changed radically. V. Andreyev, whose report is posted on the Committee of Voters of Ukraine website, says that one has the impression that Ms Yefremova has managed to return times already forgotten when the entire information policy of the channel is determined in one office solely in accordance with the current political situation.
The first problems, as was to be expected, arose with members of the united opposition. During a direct broadcast with BYUT MP Andriy Shkil, Larisa Yefremova summoned the presented and instructed her on the questions which should be asked.
Later it was the turn of the Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Mykola Tomenko. A programme in which he took part, after delays for several days was shown at almost midnight on a work day. Mr Tomenko has said that he will be sending a complaint to the Prosecutor General since he views this as interference by the management of the region in the activities of the television company and journalists.
Then, quite unexpectedly, MP from the Cherkasy region Serhiy Tereshchuk encountered a similar problem. The broadcasting time which he received each month in accordance with legislation, and which he used to put his point of view on events in the country, is now allocated solely for pre-recorded broadcasts, also around midnight. The new management also refused to post his statement regarding the voting on the highly controversial language bill.
Private TV channels which rent broadcasting time on Ros have also come up against an increase in censorship. All programmes which they broadcast are now reviewed by Ms Yefremova who decides whether or not they’ll be broadcast. This has been the experience, for example, of the ILDANA TV and radio broadcaster.
Ros employees have in private conversations reported that the new management of the company is taking an exceptionally tough line, is not interested in the opinion and position of journalists, demands unquestioning subordination in the preparation of features, especially those of a political nature. They say that such control is unprecedented.
From the report by V. Andreyev for deputat.ck.ua, and posted by CVU