The city council of Kropyvnytskyi (former Kirovohrad), after an interval many years long, decided to return to the practice of journalist accreditation. The relevant information was published in closed Facebook community for journalist by the head of the department for working with mass media, Serhiy Yakunin. This was reported by IMI representative in Kirovohradska oblast.
“Friends, four our and your own convenience, we reinstate the procedure of accreditation under the city council. It will be simple. The sample Application is provided here. Please call for any clarifications. Please, by the end of the week, bring the applications to our department. Thank you”, the official wrote.
The mass media employees are required to add two their photos in format 35х45, a copy of journalist ID and a copy of passport.
Local media workers provided a lot of negative feedback on this innovation.
IMI media lawyer Maksym Ratushnyi commented that such accreditation is not against the law and does not violate the rights of journalists, provided that absence of accreditation cannot be a valid reason for denying access of journalists to public events and open sessions (based on provisions of Article 26 of the Law on Information).
It is also important to have regulations specifying how the accreditation functions, in form of Amendments for the Standing Order of the city council, and the relevant clause in the Standing Order.
As IMI informed before, local self-government bodies do not have a right to forbid the journalists to visit their session, and accreditation is supposed to be a procedure for convenience of journalists, not a limitation. Impeding the work of journalists can entail criminal responsibility according to the Law.