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Bill on oligarchs will lead to redistribution of media market and switchover to shadow economy - Oksana Romanyuk

31.05.2021, 10:49
Photo credit: National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting
Photo credit: National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting

IMI Executive Director Oksana Romanyuk believes that the bill "On Oligarchs", published by ZN.UA, lays the foundations for a major redistribution of the media market and switchover to the shadows. Oksana Romanyuk said it to Radio Liberty, commenting on the publication of this document.

“The fragments of the document cannot but are just quirks. I don't even know how to comment it on. The impression is that the people who wrote it do not even know about the existence of media regulation. Yes, experts have been talking about the de-oligarchization of the media for many years, but they meant demonopolizing the media market, strengthening the independence and competence of the regulator (National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting), ” as Oksana Romanyuk said.

According to her, it would be possible to increase the transparency of media ownership, independence of editorial staff, establish responsibility for interference in editorial policy, oblige the National Council to respond, impose fines, introduce the concept of "media markets", "media monopoly", "influence of owners on content". ..

“But the text that “Dzerkalo Tyzhdnya” made public I do not see real deoligarchisation. This bill lays the foundations for a large redistribution of the media market and switchover of the media market to the shadow: the oligarchs will simply take and register their media assets for "ski instructors" and - say goodbye to the transparency of media ownership. In order to de-oligarchize the mass media, two key steps are needed: first, to increase the independence and competence of the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting, and then to expand its tools and functionality through appropriate changes to media legislation, ”said Oksana Romanyuk.

The President's Office sannounced that the content of the bill on oligarchs published by ZN.UA did not correspond to the text prepared by the OP. 

“Legislative work is a process that has its stages. The beginning of this process is the registration of the bill in the parliament or, at least, its official presentation. This is definitely not happening in the form of publishing someone's fantasies about a possible bill or in the form of "leak" to any of the media outlets some unconfirmed and generally incomprehensible options. What was published in mass media today is not the text of the draft law, ” Mykhaylo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the OP , told Ukrayinska Pravda .

Adviser to Yermak emphasized that the final version of the document could change after all stages of legislative work. "That's why it doesn't make sense to talk about what this law will be like now," Podoliak said. 

For its part, ZN.UA  responded to Podoliak as follows: “Mykhailo Podoliak is a consummate liar. If like this, the OP wants to force ZN.UA to uncover its source of information, it will not work. And if, giving up on one’s reaction to the cunningly-mediocre law-making, Zelensky's team will refine the bill, we are on board. You are welcome! "

As IMI reported, on May 27, ZN.UA reviewed the text of the draft law “On Oligarchs” (prepared by a working group at the Ministry of Justice) and analyzed its main provisions.

ZN.UA said that the bill "On oligarchs" risks becoming a law on media hostile takeover practice.

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