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Excuses for instructions to provide PR for President’s “social initiatives”


"Correct opinion" (cartoon from Glavnoe)

The State Television and Radio Broadcasting Committee has found a new explanation for its instructions to regional heads of TV and radio channels to create programmes explaining President Yanukovych’s social initiatives. It claims that these fall within the Law on the Procedure for Covering the Activities of State Authorities and Bodies of Local Self-Government by the Media, and the Cabinet of Ministers Resolution on Regulations on Public Procurement of Production and Circulation of Television and Radio Programmes.

As reported, a letter was sent on 13 March from the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Committee to regional TV + Radio Companies [TRC]. It demands that they urgently broadcast special programmes from 15 March explaining President Yanukovych’s “social initiatives”.

All regional State TRC and the “Crimea” State TRC were also sent a letter asking them to give coverage in their evening news broadcasts or special sections to the meeting between Yanukovych and the President of Turkmenistan; the meeting between Yanukovych, the Verkhovna Rada’s Speaker and leaders of parliamentary factions; the meeting between Prime Minister Azarov and members of foreign companies working in Ukraine; and other such items.

The Head of the State Broadcasting Committee Oleksandr Kurdinovych told Telekritika that the Committee in this way is forming public procurement and directing State TV and radio companies in their coverage of the activities of higher bodies of power.

The State Broadcasting Committee provided a long “legal” explanation for their actions, citing the above-mentioned law and resolution, other laws as well as Ukraine’s Constitution.

The instructions which the Committee is trying to justify were known as “Temnyky” under President Kuchma.  These were instructions from above on what to cover and how, and also, importantly, what was not to be mentioned.

These largely disappeared under President Yushchenko, but would now appear, whatever the coating provided, to be returning under President Yanukovych.

New information from Telekritika

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