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Independent media council suggested to create content in Ukrainian

27.02.2020, 16:30
Photo credit: dt.ua
Photo credit: dt.ua

The Independent Media Council (IMC) suggested to the mass media to create content in Ukrainian. This is stated in the recommendations the IMC prepared for the use of languages ​​in the media, as Detektor Media reported.

Recommendations were made as reaction to several statements made by representatives of some media groups about the uncompetitiveness of the Ukrainian language or Ukrainian-language production. In particular, in 2019, television host Oksana Marchenko said that the new language legislation would "deprive Ukrainians of access to world science." Recently, a representative of "1 + 1" channel Olena Yermeyeva said : "Finding the tone of the Ukrainian language for that viewer perceived it, this is not easy enough. We have noted, the melodramas in Ukrainian qre viezed less than comedies."

The Independent Media Council recalled that legislative regulation in the domain of language is aiming not only to ensure the status of an official language, but also to ensure the rights of citizens for whom Ukrainian is mother tongue. At the same time, for Russian-speaking people, their language looks more common than Ukrainian, because for a native speaker of some language, his or her environment and communication distorts the language situation in favor of his language.

The Independent Media Council noted that television may consider commercially more attractive the city audience (with a higher percentage of Russian-speaking and bilingual speakers), and ratings of TV channels among rural audiences may not even be measured. But, after using state-owned radio frequency by the TV channels, certain populations should not be privileged, given the commercial considerations of the broadcaster, and the needs of other social groups should not be ignored or marginalized.

In opinion of members of the council, national media should also make special efforts not to play the role of "useful idiots" to support and promote the aggressive foreign policy ambitions of the Russian Federation. After all, for the aggressor country, any statement about the alleged "underdevelopment" or "insufficiency" of the Ukrainian language is an invaluable way of delegitimizing the Ukrainian statehood.

Having analyzed a number of objective and subjective factors, the Independent Media Council recommended to the media:

to try meeting the language needs of even the segment of the audience that, at first glance, may be considered commercially unattractive;

  • to take into account the possible time gap which is due to switch of the language of its content, between the outflow of a product-oriented audience in a previous language and the gradual “overflow” of a new audience that favors production in a new language;
  • to involve native speakers of a particular language when transitioning to content in that language;
  • not to be restricted to the market of Russia and the CIS countries during the production of export content;
  • for managers, expressing their position on behalf of the media, to avoid allegations of non-competitiveness of Ukrainian, Crimean Tatar and other languages ​​whose native speakers have (had been) been discriminated based on language, as such statements not only degrade the human dignity of native speakers of such languages, but also in the case of Ukrainian delegitimize the Ukrainian nation-building as such which is absolutely unacceptable amid the conflict, which is directly related to the protection of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state.

The full text of the recommendations can be found here.

The Independent Media Council is a permanent public monitoring and advisory body that deals with contentious issues related to failure to comply with media law, international standards for media coverage, violations of journalistic ethics. The council provides recommendations to authorities and other interested parties in regulating mass media.

The Independent Media Council was established by five leading media NGOs (Center for Democracy and Rule of Law, Institute for Mass Information, Internews-Ukraine, Detector Media and Community Foundation) and consists of 15 members. The chairman of the Independent Media Council is Taras Shevchenko, the secretaries are Olena Golub and Pavel Moiseyev.

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