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90% of Donetsk journalists talk of censorship

11.04.2007 | www.imi.org.ua

Ninety percent of the Donetsk journalists who took part in a recent survey spoke of there being censorship. The figure in the Kyiv and Lviv regions was 71-72%.

The All-Ukrainian Independent Media Trade Union and the Donetsk Regional Trade Union of Media Employees held a roundtable on interaction between the media and the authorities. The journalists said that in their opinion, the least open bodies remain the regional and city departments of the SBU [Security Service] and the prosecutor’s office, while the Regional Administration was found to be the most open. Comparing the relations between the media and the authorities now and three years ago, the journalists stated that there had not been substantial changes.

According to the results of the survey, one in three journalists had received threats and one in two had been subjected to pressure. In our democratic country for media workers judicial examinations, assaults and unlawful dismissals are virtually a normal thing.

The situation with freedom of speech is interesting. It is most often editors who “stifle” journalists. The removal and “castration” of material not to their taste, the demands by officials to see the texts and “make corrections”, the refusal to publish them are all elements of present day life. The most comfortable existence is that of privileged media outlets propped up by the authorities and oligarchs. Certain private and municipal media outlets were also in this category.  Independent publications were considered most honest and objective. 

143 people took part in the survey.

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