PEN-Centre protests silencing of Culture radio station
The Ukrainian PEN-Centre has issued a statement regarding the removal from air on 5 September of Radio Kultura, Channel 3 on National Radio. No warning had been given, it simply disappeared. Concerned listeners who rang in were told that the programme would no longer be broadcast on FM because of insufficient funding. The channel can now, therefore, effectively only be heard via the Internet.
“The loss of the channel which broadcast interesting literary, musical and artistic programmes, is a palpable blow, especially in conditions of an unconcealed assault on all things Ukrainian, starting with the State language itself. This is an overt encroachment on the rights of a considerable audience in those regions where it was up till now available. A large percentage of those listeners do not have access to the Internet. This is contempt for an excellent team of full-time and freelance journalists who in our information age had succeeded in winning the hearts of radio listeners. Instead we will probably have yet another FM channel which like the others will pander to undiscerning tastes, while at the same time imposing and fostering such tastes.
The impunity of public officials which was so clearly demonstrated in the recent identical situation with the TV channel TVI again and again fuels lawlessness.”
PEN Centre points out that it is Ukrainian culture which they are endeavouring through all means to restrict, and where possible, destroy.
The Ukrainian Centre of the International PEN-Club demands the return of the Culture Radio Station and an end to the destruction of Ukrainian culture.
The statement is signed by the PEN-Centre’s President, Myroslav Marynovych.