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Yevgeny Kiselyov: “Ukrainian journalism is ahead of Russian”

26.01.2007    source:
The prominent Russian journalist believes that the level of journalism in Ukraine is unequivocally higher than in Russia. He says that at present Russian journalism, in particular that on television, is deteriorating, and turning into propaganda
Prominent Russian television journalist Yevgeny Kiselyov is convinced that Ukrainian journalism does not need to take any lead from its Russian counterpart. This was how Yevgeny Kiselyov reacted to the (reported) statement by the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Oleksandr Moroz that the Ukrainian media should seek to reach the level of their colleagues in Russia. “I categorically disagree with the opinion expressed by some Ukrainian high-ranking public officials that Ukrainian journalism should learn from Russian journalists about how to cover topical events in the country. On the contrary, at present Ukrainian journalism is ahead of Russian”, Kiselyov said in an interview to the newspaper “Delo” [“Business”]. “I think that during the period since the Orange Revolution, Ukrainian journalists have made a huge leap forward in their understanding of the profession’s values”. Kiselyov also stated that the level of journalism in Ukraine was unequivocally higher than in Russia. He noted that at present Russian journalism, in particular that on television, was deteriorating, and turning into propaganda. “The heads of journalist organizations are changing from journalist editors and producers into timid civil servants for whom the main thing is to hold on to their positions”. “What Russian journalists are doing at present could be called “licking the bosses’ arses – from outside and inside. Some have already grown anteaters’ tongues”. Speaking about independent media outlets in Russia, Kiselyov said that few remained. “We don’t have any independent television any more”. You can say that there are still some independent journalists and isolated programs, however these are mainly non-political. There are virtually no programs left which, when talking about politics, are not afraid to call things by their correct names, are not frightened of analyzing the actions of the President, ministers, heads of administrations, governors and bureaucrats from state monopolies. The majority of programs say nothing at all about this. I think that it would be extremely regrettable if Ukrainian journalism followed the same path as its Russian counterpart. If such a process begins, that will most likely be the beginning of the end of Ukrainian democracy”. Yevgeny Kiselyov believes that in Russia the beginning of the end of normal political life was the decision of President Putin to take all main media outlets under his control. The day before Ukrainian journalists sharply criticized comments from Oleksandr Moroz suggesting that the Ukrainian media take example from Russian journalism*. * Please see previous link for a claim by the Press Service of the Verkhovna Rada that Moroz’ words were taken out of context
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