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Media Movement protests against nomination of MP from “Opposition platform – For Life” as chairman of Committee on freedom of speech - Statement

28.08.2019, 17:37
On August 26, the “Opposition Platform - For Life” (OPFL) party has been proposed to head the Committee on freedom of speech, as MP and representative of the OPFL Vadym Rabinovych told following the meeting of the Verkhovna Rada's working group. Leaders and members of this political force have been repeatedly seen while exploiting the media outlets they controlled in order to tamper with public opinion and to promote some propaganda, namely pro-Russian one. For example, one of the OPFL’s leaders, Viktor Medvedchuk, as it is known, is consistently promoting the interests of the aggressor country in Ukraine, in particular by means of manipulation and censorship in the media under his control, as it is evidenced by numerous monitoring surveys held by the media NGOs. Monitorings fulfilled by “Detector Media” NGO systematically confirmed that 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK TV channels which are owned by the MP from OPFL Taras Kozak, close associate of Medvedchuk, reproduce literally the propaganda messages broadcasted by Russian federal media. The same TV channels are source of hate speech and gender stereotypes , and they also have recourse to gross manipulation of the topic of freedom of speech. The TV channel of another MP from the OPFL, Serhiy Levochkin, “Inter”, also was used for massive, compulsive and aggressive PR campaign of this political force. According to “Detektor Media” report , during the parliamentary election campaign, “Inter” covered OPFL more than all other political forces combined, and news editions spoke of campaigning and statements by OPFL candidates in the press-service mode. In general, the channel is one of the leaders of political propaganda disguised as journalism: in 2018, 38% of all materials of the kind was broadcasted by “Inter” TV channel. According to the monitoring surveys held by “Detector Media”, the Council of Europe , the National television and radio broadcasting council, the editorial policies of the OPFL-owned TV channels were aimed at promoting the interests of this political force during the 2019 presidential and parliamentary races. It should also be recalled that such editorial policies and blatant violations of journalistic ethics have resulted in the most massive resignation of journalists from the ZIK TV channel in Ukraine, that followed the report of the acquisition of the TV channel by a MP from OPFL in June 2019. The members of the OPFL Party were part of the “Party of Regions”, many of them personally had voted for “dictatorial laws” on January 16, 2014, which, among other things, had to impose restrictions on freedom of expression. The Media Movement calls on the newly elected parties and, above all, on the presidential political force, “Servant of the People”, to prevent the OPFL representatives to chair the Committee on freedom of speech, since the OPFL’s members make use of media outlets under their control for propaganda and manipulation and are directly involved in the suppression of freedom of speech. We call on the other factions to nominate, and the faction "Servant of the People" to support appointment as chairman of the Committee a reputable media professional who has credibility of the media community. … On the 5th of February, several Ukraine TV channels, radio companies, printed press outlets and web-based editions and media NGOs launched the media initiative aimed to ensure for Ukraine citizens the possibility to elect the head of state and the parliament on the ground of complete and trustful information. The first signatories of the media movement memorandum were: UA: Pershy, Ukraynske Radio, Hromadske radio, Ukrinform, Interfax-Ukraine,, Dzerkalo tyzhdnya weekly, Novoe Vrema daily,, The 5th TV channel, Ukrayinsky Tyzhden, Opinion, several regional mass media, Independent media council, Detektor Media, The Institute of mass information, Internews Ukraine, Center for democracy and rule of law, Souspilinist Foundation, Independent association of TV and radio broadcasters, The Donetsk institute of information, The Institute of democracy named of Pylyp Orlyk and other media institutions and individual journalists, in total 70 members adhered the media initiative. You can join or support the Mediarch by contacting Vadym Misky coordinator: [email protected].
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