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Media Movement supports sanctions against Medvedchuk’s TV channels and urges not to persecute its employees

08.02.2021, 13:39

Lies, which are persistently and often repeated, foment hatred, are detrimental to society and have nothing to do with journalism.

We, members of the Media Movement, consider the sanctions targeting the owner of the so-called Medvedchuk’s TV channels as an adequate measure to fight against misinformation. At the same time, we call on the authorities to strictly adhere to all relevant international norms and legal procedures and to provide the public with exhaustive set of arguments that will confirm that the indispensable for a democracy proportionality, legality and balance between security and protection of freedom of speech have been observed. We warn the authorities against abusing the sanctions mechanism and call for an extreme caution when it is question of mass media. Every suspicion or accusation must be absolutely tenable, but a lack of reasoning can discredit the government's efforts to combat misinformation.

It hurt us, journalists and media organizations, to watch employees of three TV channels - 112 Ukraine, ZIK and NewsOne - disrespecting themselves and their audiences, spreading prejudices and even lies for years.

The results of the monitoring of pro-Russian propaganda  showed that these three TV channels were responsible for more than half of the cases of Kremlin disinformation messages being spread in the Ukrainian media. The National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting has applied legal sanctions to these TV channels for almost 40 times (warnings, fines, appeals to the court to revoke licenses, etc.).

The mission of journalism is to bring the truth to society. Top managers, journalists and presenters of these TV channels manipulated, shamelessly exaggerated and lied to please pro-Russian owners of information resources. It was because of the activities of these "pseudo-journalistic faces" that the credibility of the journalistic profession was dealt a serious blow.

At the same time, we oppose any "blacklists" to be composed with the names of employees of the TV channels that have come under sanctions. Calls for violence from either side must entail an immediate reply from law enforcement.

We urge ordinary employees of these three TV channels, who did not directly participate in the manipulations and do not share the views of pro-Russian owners, to fight for their labor rights, dignity and independence. We also urge the Ukrainian media not to limit the employment opportunities of former ordinary employees of these TV channels, who did not share the views of the owners of the channels and are ready to sign the Code of Journalistic Ethics and adhere to it.

We remind you of the respectable examples of  journalists from ZIK TV channel (until the summer of 2019) , Forbes, TVi, "Korrespondent" and others, who at one time quitted their jobs en masse in protest against censorship. All of them continue to successfully realize themselves in the profession.

We urge all journalists: do not risk your reputation, do not work on propagandist resources and always adhere to professional ethics and standards. At the same time, we urge TV channel owners to solve problems in a legal way, not to destabilize the situation in the country. 

Media Movement " Media for Conscious Choice " was launched on February 5, 2019. The first signatories of the Media Movement memorandum were UA : Pershiy, Ukrainian Radio, Hromadske Radio, news agency Ukrinform, news agency Interfax-Ukraine, Liga .net , Dzerkalo Tyzhnya. Ukraina, NV, Censor.net, Channel 5, “Ukrainian Tyzhden", Opinion , a number of regional media, Independent Media Council, NGOs" Media Detector "," Institute of Mass Information "," Internews-Ukraine "," Center for Democracy and Rule of Law "," Community Foundation "," National Media Association " , "Donetsk Institute of Information", "Pylyp Orlyk Institute of Democracy", "Zmina Human Rights Center and other organizations, individual journalists - a total of more than 70 participants. You can join the Media Movement or support it by contacting the coordinator Vadym Misky : vadim .miskyi @gmail .com 

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