“Article 19” advises to refrain from preserving the state television and radio broadcast

The worldwide campaign supporting the freedom of speech “Article 19” spread the statement about establishing the public broadcast in Ukraine, appealing to make the state television and radio broadcast a real public one.

The reason for the organization’s appeal to representatives of the Ukrainian government became the discussion in the Ukrainian society on whether to transform the state channel UT-1 into the public one, or to keep it without changes and establish a public channel parallel.

Taking into account the fact that the process of establishing is rather difficult, the organization “Article 19” decided to refrain from concrete recommendations regarding it in Ukraine.

The worldwide campaign supporting the freedom of speech emphasized that the freedom of mass media has the highest significance in a democratic society. In the appeal it is mentioned that the key role in the freedom of mass media lies in ensuring independence of those television and radio organizations which are financed for public costs. The use of public costs for financing mass media controlled by the state is illegal. “The public costs are to serve the community, and not serve the government in full of a party at power”, – it is stated in the text of the appeal.

“Article 19” stresses that in the recommendation No R (96) 10 of the Committee of ministers of the European Council “About guarantees of independence of public television and radio broadcast” dated September 11, 1996 it is stated: “independence of mass media, including television and radio, is the most important factor for normal functioning a democratic society”. In that very recommendation “a necessity of respectful attitude to the independent status of mass media is stressed, especially from the direction of the state”.

The Fourth European conference of ministers on policy in mass media confirmed the obligations of the participants to “support and develop the powerful system of public broadcast in the environment characterizing by fast increase of competition among programs and quick technological changes”. Particularly, the public television can be lead by “private companies and organizations executing public functions”.

State mass media were not included into this list, since they hamper establishing a dynamic television-radio environment, where a big quantity of different program services would be presented.

“Article 19” appealed the Ukrainian government with the “insistent advice” to refrain from preserving the state television and radio broadcast corresponding to the needs of the government, not to the needs of people. Instead they appealed to transform it into real public broadcast.  

“We’ll further be at disposal of the Ukrainian government in case there is a necessity to advise or recommend anything during this delicate and very important process”, – promised representatives of “Article 19”.

Olena Holiuk


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