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“Conditions of transparency” but where’s the signatory?

16.11.2006    source:
Not only did the Kyiv City State Administration representative fail to appear, pen in hand, but the conflict over alleged pressure on the newspaper looks likely to escalate

The signing of an agreement between the Kyiv City State Administration [KCSA] and the municipal newspaper “Vechirny Kyiv” [“Evening Kyiv”] about mutual interaction and cooperation failed to materialize.

The agreement was due to be signed between the acting chief editor of the newspaper Ludmila Vorobyova, Denis Bass, Deputy Head of the KCSA and representatives of the commission from the founder, i.e. the Kyiv City Council. According to the secretary of the Kyiv Council Commission O. Bryhynets, they waited half an hour for Denis Bass, but the latter did not appear. 

Mr Bryhyenets comments: “The conflict is far from resolved in fact one could say that it has gained new force”.

He mentioned that yesterday the newspaper’s editorial office had received a letter from the KCSA central department on cooperation with the mass media demanding that they provide documents of confirmation regarding the settlement of the advance (which is paid on 16 November). The newspaper’s staff believe that this indicates planned delays in paying out the advance to members of the team. Mr Bryhynets acknowledges: “It is likely that Chernovetsky’s command is trying in this way to put pressure on the staff who rebelled”,

A session had been planned for Wednesday at 15.00 of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information, where all issues pertaining to freedom of speech in Kyiv were to be discussed together.

As already reported here, “Vechirny Kyiv” [“Evening Kyiv”] recently stated that they were being subjected to pressure from the city authorities as to how they covered the capital’s politics.

At a press conference, the acting chief editor of the newspaper Ms Vorobyova had stated that since she had been appointed, she had received instructions from representatives of the Kyiv City State Administration on the editorial policy of the publication. She had reported then that the acting head of the KCSA central department on cooperation with the mass media and public liaison. Tetyana Vasylyeva, had said that they could criticize anyone, but not the Mayor , and that they should also present a distorted picture of the activities of the opposition.

On the basis of this, the staff of the newspaper signed an appeal to representatives of the deputy corps of the Kyiv Council, including to the permanent commission on culture and information policy, requesting that they join the editorial panel of “Vechirny Kyiv”.

“Vechirny Kyiv” became the Kyiv Council’s newspaper in 2001, and on 28 September this year the Kyiv Council dismissed the Chief Editor Oleksandr Balabko.

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