Journal Ukrainsky Tyzhden accuses the authorities of pressure
The article which Ukrainsky Tyzhden believes has caused their difficulties. The words ask: Who created the manipulative media system?
The Ukrainian language journal Ukrainsky Tyzhden [Ukrainian Week] accuses the Ukrainian authorities of restricting its access to readers. It has issued a statement saying that it is being pushed out of the market because of its criticism of the government. This reads:
“There has always been pressure on Ukrainsky Tyzhden from the authorities and the media monopoly holders linked with them, albeit in various forms. However since the beginning of September it has taken on a new dimension seen in its being deliberately elbowed out of the market by blocking its access to the readers”.
It says that this pressure became particularly acute following a critical article timed to coincide with the World Newspaper Forum at the beginning of the month. The article spoke of the problem of monopolization of the printed press and manipulations linked with this which distort the Ukrainian media and make it impossible for market mechanisms to function. As a result, its conditions are dictated by large media holdings, usually Ukrainian oligarchs who see the media publications as merely a part of their business empires. Since the media business in Ukraine is a priori loss-making, then puppet media publications usually fulfil the function of manipulating public opinion. This includes imposing discriminatory conditions for publications in Ukraine.
It was after this article, the journal says, that the Boryspil International Airport prohibited the journal and its English-language version from being circulated on its territory. They were informed by the advertising agency whom they’d used to have the journal at the airport that it had been removed because of material against the present government. The journal has thus been deprived of access to an important audience.
They have also been blocked from selling copies of their journal by the UMH Group which is, the journal says, the biggest player of the printed press market. Several networks linked with this holding have stopped selling Ukrainsky Tyzhden, giving no explanation. The journal says that at the World Newspaper Forum in Kyiv the President of the UMH Group was most enthusiastic in trying to whitewash the Yanukovych regime in the eyes of the world community.