Experts: Freedom of press situation in Ukraine is on the level of 2011, impunity for crimes against journalists is on par with 2013
This year, the situation with freedom of press in Ukraine is on the level of 2011, impunity for interfering with journalists on duty – on the level of 2013. This opinion was given by the director of the Institute of Mass Information, Oksana Romaniuk, during the press conference held on
November 27, UNIAN informs.
According to her, this year IMI registered a growth of the number of cases of obstruction and threats against journalists, and the situations is the most threatening in Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kherson.
One of the reasons of the growing number of assaults against journalists is the attackers’ impunity, Romaniuk said. According to her, she has the General Prosecutor’s Office data stating only four criminal proceedings based on facts of attacks against journalists were sent to court, where the number of actual cases of assaults was 281.
As continuation, the chair of the board of NGO "Telekrytyka" Natalia Likhachova said that "violation of journalists’ rights is a critical issue for the country today".
According to her, the reason for this is not only inaction of authorities, but also the fact that the country now functions under conditions of war. Analyzing the work of mass media, Likhachova noted reduction of practices of illegal payment for biased materials, and better, more high-quality, content.
At the same time, to root out the practice of illegal payment for biased materials in national mass media, not only reforms are necessary, but the internal reorganization of journalists as a community.
Another media expert, people’s deputy of Ukraine Viktoria Siumar, expressed her hope that starting with the new year, in Ukraine public broadcasting will finally start working, which will become a competitor to other mass media.
Siumar was critical regarding the initiative of the authorities to create the so-called Ministry of Information, as there already is a similar structure in Ukraine – the State Committee for TV and Radio. According to her, instead of the ministry it would be more feasible to allocate funds for broadcasting in foreign languages for informing the public abroad about the situation in Ukraine.
Experts also said that they addressed MPs and new authorities with an appeal to pay special attention to full-fledged launch of public broadcasting, reduction of the number of state-owned mass media, de-monopolization and implementation of transparency at mass media market and liquidation of the National Commission for Moral. The experts reminded that the Coalition agreement stipulates these key directions for freedom of press reforms, now they just need to be implemented.