Ukrainian TV Journalists Decry New 'Censorship'

KIEV, Ukraine -- Journalists at two Ukrainian television stations say censorship is occurring again at the country's commercial TV stations, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Journalists have said some topics are now "closed".

Journalists at the STB station's news program "Vikna" (Windows) claimed in a letter published on May 7 that "systemic censorship" is taking place. Their open letter came one day after their colleagues from the TSN news service of Channel 1+1 -- one of the most-viewed programs in Ukraine -- claimed the same in a similar statement.

Both groups of journalists allege some topics are "closed" and some reports are edited "upside down" or banned altogether since the election of Viktor Yanukovych as president earlier this year.

The journalists said proscribed topics include "Holodomor," the Ukrainian word for the 1930s mass famine in Ukraine instigated by Soviet leader Josef Stalin; the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, a nationalist rebel militia that fought both the Nazis and the Soviets during World War II; as well as any criticism of the authorities, investigations about politicians' personal finances, and even reports about Yanukovych's wife.

Channel 1+1 managers have denied they censor the work of their journalists.

Presidential Changes

Hanna Herman, the deputy head of the president's office (and former head of RFE/RL's Kiev bureau), met with TSN journalists and announced afterwards that she found no evidence of censorship.

The journalists, however, said after the meeting that Herman had misunderstood them and was wrong in calling their complaints a corporate conflict.

Many Ukrainian observers have said the situation in the media -- especially on TV -- has significantly changed since Yanukovych won the presidential election and his pro-Russian Party of Regions took power.

Viktoriya Syumar, director of the Mass Information Institute in Kiev, said that owners of private commercial TV stations might be introducing new editorial policies to protect their valuable businesses from being harassed by the new authorities.

Censorship was widespread in the Ukrainian media before the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought President Viktor Yushchenko to power. Freedom of speech and the mostly free media that were established during his 2005-2010 term in office are considered one of his main achievements as president.

Source: Radio Free Europe

Comments

This is nothing but a loose talk and a biased opinion. Please read http://www.segodnya.ua/news/14135372.html
wesley rodgers said…
UKRAINE MEDIA REPRESENT TRUE DEMOCRACY IN UKRAINE-AMONG BEST IN WORLD!!

Ukraine president paving way for his own demise!
___________________________________

ONE OF THE BEST PRODUCTS PRODUCED BY THE UKRAINE DEMOCRACY SINCE ITS BREAKAWAY FROM THE SOVIET UNION IS A VIBRANT, CREATIVE AND EXPRESSIONISTIC MEDIA WHICH TRULY REPRERSENTS THE PEOPLE.

IN ANY TRUE AND FREE DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD, A FREE AND EXPRESSIONISTIC MEDIA ALLOWS THE THOUGHTS,IDEAS FEELINGS AND OPINIONS OF THE PEOPLE TO BE HEARD AND WITHOUT IT THE COUNTRY LOSES ITS HEART AND SOUL.

A FREE MEDIA IS THE HEART AND SOUL OF UKRAINE ESPECIALLY AND
UKRAINE PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO GO BACKWARDS AND HAVE THEIR CIVIL LIBERTIES INFRINGED UPON.

THE KYIV POST-KIEV NEWS BLOG-INTER TV NEWS AND OTHERS HAVE ALLOWED THIS FREEDOM TO EXIST AND GROW AND WITH IT THE WORLD HAS COME TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT UKRAINE IS TO THE BALANCE OF POWER BETWEEN THE EAST AND WEST.

HOWEVER, IF PRESIDENT YANUKOVICH DESIRES TO CURTAIL THE MEDIA HE IS ONLY HURTING HIMSELF AND ALSO THE PEOPLE WHOM PLACED HIM INTO OFFICE BY THEIR VOTE.

BOTH THE DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL
MEDIA HAS BEEN FAIR AND KIND TO UKRAINE AND PERHAPS PRESIDENT YANUKOVICH SHOULD THINK TWICE BEFORE TRYING TO CONTROL FREEDOM OF SPEACH AND EXPRESSION.
AND,THERE IS A CONSTITUTION.

LIKE IT OR NOT THE NEWS MEDIA CAN MAKE YANUKOVICH OR BREAK HIM ON HOW HE HANDLES BASIC,SITUATIONS REGARDING CIVIL LIBERTIES OF THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE.

THERE IS A SAYING..THE PEN IS MORE POWERRFUL THAN THE SWORD AND LEADERS COME AND THEY QUICKLY GO ON THE BASIS OF PRIMNAL DECISIONS.
LET UKRAINES PRESIDENT NOT FORGET
THAT HE WORKS FOR THE PEOPLE AND THEY DO NOT WORK FOR HIM.
WE WISH HIM THE BEST OF LUCK.

WES RODGERS-newsman007
PATRIOTSTV.COM
west-patriot@msn.com