Chernihiv administration asks IMI representative to disclose anonymous survey data
The Chernihiv military administration has requested that the IMI representative Chernihiv oblast, Pavlo Pushchenko, disclose the results of the editorial voting that IMI received as part of the poll determining the winner of the anti-award "Chernihivsky Budyak". The public information request was signed by the MA chair, Dmytro Bryzhynsky, who asked for the results of a vote where journalists assessed their editorial offices' experiences working with the chair of the Chernihiv City Military Administration.
In the letter, the Chernihiv MCA chair cites the Law "On Access to Public Information" and asks the IMI representative in Chernihiv oblast, Pavlo Pushchenko, to provide "a cross section of the poll results, indicating:
– the exact number of journalists from each surveyed mass media that took part in the poll;
– the quantitative results of their voting on working with the chair of the Chernihiv City Military Administration;
– the number of journalists who were refused cooperation, with reference to the media outlets they work for;
– the number of journalists who have not contacted the CCMA chair with inquiries, with reference to the media outlets they work for."
In response to the military administration's request, the NGO "Institute of Mass Information" would like to state the following:
- Article 1 of the Law "On Public Information": "Public information shall mean information that is reflected and documented by any means and information medium and which was received or created in the process of performance by SUBJECTS OF PUBLIC AUTHORITY of their duties envisaged in the legislation in force or which is in possession of the subjects of public authority, other administrators of public information determined by this Law.". The poll organizer does not fall under the characteristics of "other administrators of public information" listed in Article 13 of the Law.
- According to Clause 1 of Art. 12 of the Law "On access to public information", "requesters of information are natural persons, legal entities, associations of citizens without legal entities status, except for subjects of public authority." That is, the Chernihiv CMA cannot submit requests for public information.
- When conducting the poll, the organizers publicly promised the media that the published results would be generalized.
- A request to provide information about how representatives of a particular editorial team voted can be viewed as attempted pressure on media representatives.
Furthermore, we note that the generalized results of the poll were presented publicly and posted on the official page of the "MediaBaza. Chernihiv" hub.
For reference. The journalist poll "Chernihivsky Budyak" was organized by the "MediaBaza. Chernihiv" hub, which works with the support of the NGO "Institute of Mass Information".
The purpose of the poll was to identify the local officials, deputies, institutions and structural units of the authorities who are the least open to journalists and who overtly violate the rights of mass media representatives.
21 media workers took part in the survey on May 30 – June 5, 2023. These are journalists of the TV channels "Novyi Chernihiv", "Dytynets", "Suspilne Chernihiv", newspapers "Vest" and "Visnyk Ch", the Chernihiv Media Group, websites "Cheline", "Chas Chernihivsky" and "Svoboda.FM".
Pavlo Pushchenko, IMI representative in Chernihiv oblast
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