State and communal mass media in the Crimea do not inform the local dwellers about the course of election campaign in Ukraine
State and communal mass media in the Crimea practically do not inform the local dwellers about the course of election campaign in Ukraine, declared Volodymir Pritula, the head of the Committee for monitoring of the freedom of the press in the Crimea, at the round table “Role of mass media in guaranteeing of publicity and openness of election process”, which was held on 20 August 2004 by the Council of Ministers of the Crimean Autonomous Republic.
According to the results of monitoring of two Crimean state editions “Krymskie izvestiya” (the Supreme Rada of the Crimea) and “Krymskaya gazeta” (the Council of Ministers of the Crimea), elucidation of the course of election process was reduced to the only mention about the registration of candidates, one-sided description of the incident with candidate V. Yushchenko on the plateau of the mountain Ai-Petri and detailed elucidation of the activities of candidate to presidency Prime Minister V. Yanukovich. The monitoring was conducted by the Committee in July and August.
In particular, in July the newspaper “Krymskie izvestiya” devoted to V. Yanukovich more than 52% of mentions and 42% of the total area of the materials, which concerned the candidates to Presidents post. Only 6.7% of mentions and 11.3% of area were given to V. Yushchenko; 5.6% and 10.7%, respectively, -- to P. Simonenko. As to other candidates, the newspaper either wrote about them much less, or did not write at all. Similar situation in “Krymskie izvestiya” was observed in August too. During the period from 1 to 20 August this edition gave to V. Yanukovich 49.1% of mentions and 57.4% of the area of the materials about candidates. At the same time, although “Krymskie izvestiya” ignored 3 candidates in July and 2 – in August, the materials about all other candidates were neutral or positive.
The state edition “Krymskaya gazeta” in July did not mention 9 candidates to presidency at all, in August this number was 12. Most frequently the newspaper wrote about the activities of V. Yanukovich: more than 59% of mentions and almost 70% of the total area of the materials concerned this candidate; all these materials were positive. V. Yushchenko got 10% of mentions and 7.3% of the area (a half of the materials about him was negative), O. Moroz – 5.3% and 5.2%, P. Simonenko – almost 4% and 5.1%, respectively. Other candidates were mentioned not more that 1-2 times in the edition of the Crimean government. In August almost 53% of mentions and 74.4% of total area of the materials were devoted to Viktor Yanukovich. All publications about the candidate from power had positive or neutral character.
According to the data of the Committee for monitoring of the freedom of the press in the Crimea, absolute majority of communal mass media in the Crimea also ignore Article 13 of the Law of Ukraine “On election of the President of Ukraine”, which reads that mass media “must objectively elucidate the course of election process”. In reality, the editions elucidate the activities of only one candidate to Presidents post -- Prime Minister of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich.
(“Svoboda presy v Krymu”, No. 08 (53), August, 2004)