30 TVi journalists resign
The group of TVi journalists who on 23 April announced a strike over the apparent seizure of the last independent TV channel in Ukraine have now handed in their resignations. 30 journalists signed a statement explaining to TVi viewers that “for a week the Union of TVi Journalists awaited the beginning of negotiations, hoping for a constructive position from management and the people who present themselves as the owners of the channel. All this time we expressed our willingness to end the strike and immediately begin work if our main demands were met. “
The journalists say that there have been no moves towards meeting them halfway from either the new owners or the new management, and no guarantees have been given that they will be free to carry out their journalist duties.
The management has refused to recognize their trade union and the new manager – Artem Shevchenko – has told Radio Svoboda that the journalists’ resignations will be accepted. Shevchenko claimed that there were only about 20 journalists who have resigned. He also suggested that there would be changes to the format and content of the channel, although claiming that it would continue to take a critical approach of the government.
The journalists have called on western countries to note what is happening and to give their assessment of the effective censorship of journalists as well as the lack of transparency in the sudden change in ownership of the channel.
See below for comments from western media watchdogs about the events.