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"Dnipro TV" denied access to regional council meeting

26.06.2020, 15:46
Screenshot from the video of Dnipro TV
Screenshot from the video of Dnipro TV

On June 24, security guards denied access to the TV crew of Dnipro TV to Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council (Dnipro City Television Studio of Dnipro City Council), as the channel's journalist Yana Boguslavska told it to the regional representative of IMI.

According to her, the TV crew was preparing a story about the competition for the position of chief physician of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Psychiatric Hospital, which took place in the building of the regional council. According to Boguslavska, she had previously called the press service of the regional council to clarify whether the second stage of the competition would take place. She was said the competition to take place, but no journalist was to be admitted due to lockdown restrictions.

“I was told that the contest would be broadcast. I asked how it would be, in what form, would it be a link, or what? I was told they would inform about it later, they would call back. I tried to find out why we could not be present, since in compliance with additional governmental decisions, the movement of journalists cannot be limited. So, even if the regional council is in quarantine, we could be admitted at least next to this office and take at least some interviews. I was promised a call back, but no one contacted me until two o'clock, and we couldn't miss the event, it's a socially significant topic, so we went to the regional council. When we arrived, we were not allowed to enter to the premises by the guards. No links, videos or materials were received regarding this contest. Moreover, there are no publications about the contest in free access either, ”- said Yana Boguslavska.

She also said that the day before the incident, on June 23, referring to quarantine restrictions, the regional council did not allow another film crew "Dnipro TV" to the first stage of this competition. 

According to Yana Boguslavska, neither she nor her colleagues approached the police about this.

“The only thing we could complain about to the police is obstruction of journalistic activity, but we understand that in this case the security was guided by some notions related to the quarantine regime in the building, and that’s why this conflict, in my personal opinion, was not resolved, we just would have lost time. I don't see any sense in calling the police for denial of access to the regional council, because, in principle, this is an administrative building, and in fact, they should make concession, ”the journalist added.

The representative of the press service of the Dnipropetrovsk regional council Anna Rybchenko told the representative of IMI that the building of the regional council was in quarantine, and due to that the TV crew had not been let in to cover the competition. 

“The tender commission consists of a certain number of people. Dnipro TV was asked to be present at this tender commission, but we refused them due to quarantine restrictions. Because the number of people in this competition commission already exceeded 10 people. They were informed about it on the first day, there was another meeting the next day, and the Dnipro TV group also asked for it, we also refused them and offered to provide them with a link to the meeting of this commission, and then comment if necessary. According to the law, a video recording of this commission is made, and this recording is posted on the website of the regional council, it was also posted, according to the law, ”Anna Rybchenko commented on the incident.   

Also, according to Anna Rybchenko, journalists after the incident did not ask for a link to a video of the commission meeting. 

According to the IMI representative, the video was indeed uploaded to the Youtube channel of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council on June 24, 2020, but at the time of writing, access to it was limited.

On June 24, DniproTV also announced on its Facebook page that for two days their journalists were not allowed to attend the meeting of the competition commission for the position of chief physician of the Dnipro Regional Psychiatric Hospital.

The channel regarded this as a violation of journalists' rights and said that it was "going to file a complaint about crime with the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Prosecutor's Office" with a demand to "immediately stop violating the law."

At the same time, the Dnipro Regional Council accused DniproTV of violating journalistic standards: “We are convinced that their work does not meet the standards of journalism, and all they do is harass the regional council and our leader (Sviatoslav Oliynyk - ed.). On assignment. We are outraged by the standards they are guided by in their work, ” Detector Media reported.

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