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National Council issued warning to Pryamyy TV for invectives against Zelensky

15.01.2021, 13:44
Photo credit: Youtube
Photo credit: Youtube

On January 14, the National Council oа Television and Radio Broadcasting issued a warning to the Pryamyy TV Channel for invectives the anchorman Serhiy Poyarkov made against the head of state Volodymyr Zelensky in the air of “Poyarkov News” program on December 27, 2019, as “Detektor Media” reported. 

But the National Council did not penalize the broadcaster and took note of the conclusions made after another inspection, regarding the words of Russian host Matviy Ganapolsky, who used the words “asshole” and “shit” in the “Echo of Ukraine” program on May 1, 2020.

The National Council had scheduled an inspection of Serhiy Poyarkov 's words on January 9, 2020, but the results of were reviewed only a year later. Then the National Council received an appeal from someone Kasyanenko with complaints against Serhiy Poyarkov, mentioning Poyarkov hurled invectives against the head of state Volodymyr Zelensky, members of his family, other Ukrainians, certain ethnic groups, and used obscene language. In "Poyarkov News" aired on December 27, 2019 Poyarkov called Volodymyr Zelensky a "piece of shit" "pissapants from Kryvyi Rih" and other things of the kind, he said Zelensky’s father was  "quaint" (the integral text is cited in the decision of the National Council ordering to hold an inspection). 

Based on the results of that unscheduled inspection, the National Council prepared a draft decision to issue a warning to the broadcaster for violations of two provisions of the Law “On Television and Radio Broadcasting” regarding the protection of children from harmful content: Part 5 of Art. 28 (the broadcaster has no right to distribute programs and programs that can affect the normal physical, mental or moral development of children and adolescents) and Part 2 of Art. 62 of the law (broadcasters are prohibited from distributing and announcing programs and programs that may harm the physical, intellectual and spiritual development of minors and youth, except during airtime on a daily basis from 23.00 to 6.00 and on TV channels with restricted access).

At a meeting of the National Council, the director of the Pryamyy Channel, Volodymyr Stashevsky, mentioned freedom of speech and justified behavior of Poyarkov with the fact he had lived in the United States for some time and this was the way he perceived freedom of speech. But the Pryamyy Channel found that his words were incorrect and the criticism should be well-grounded and not get personal. And in this case, the criticism was out of bounds, Stashevsky admitted.

The lawyer with Pryamyy Channel Larysa Rudenok added that the channel did not agree with the reasons for the inspection and challenged the decision of the National Council in court, and the case was currently being considered in court.

The lawyer noted that citizen Kasyanenko complained that Poyarkov had affronted, but in fact accusations of invectives against someone must come from the person whose dignity had been insulted, and should be considered by the broadcaster itself, and if the TV channel did not respond, then the person has the right to go to court. “The National Council is not entitled to defend the honor and dignity of any person, especially of public figures. And the National Council has never defended the honor and dignity of public figures, much less advocated for public figures, ”Rudenok stressed.

She was also surprised that there were four articles of the law in the decision to order an inspection, which the channel allegedly had violated (both on the honor and dignity of the person and on protecting children from harmful content), but the inspection conclusion and the draft decision of the National Council mentioned only children clause. "There are no explanations in the inspection conclusion, what exactly the violations were, how and how exactly the words could harm children," the channel's lawyer said.

The head of the National Council Olga Gerasimyuk answered that the National Council could receive appeals and complaints from citizens on any occasion, but the National Council also could hold its own monitoring, which it conducts both independently and in connection with someone's complaint. "That is why we do not issue any sanction for encroachment on honor and dignity," she said. Olga Gerasimyuk also criticized the Pryamyy Channel for "abusing the opportunity to have a live broadcast and constantly reproducing some fake news, such as saying that the National Council closed the channel."

As a result, the six members of the National Council present at the meeting unanimously voted in favor of the warning to the Pryamyy Channel and obliged the broadcaster to conform its activities with the law within a month. In one month, the National Council is to order another unscheduled inspection of the TV chanal and apply sanctions.

The National Council ordered an inspection over Matviy Ganapol 's words  on June 4, 2020. The reason for this inspcetion were the results of the National Council’s monitoring, which fixed some obsene language employed in live program by the presenter on May 1 and in reruns on May 2 and 3 - the words “asshole” and “shit”. In particular, Matviy Hanapolsky suggested that the guest of the studio, the MP from the "Servant of the People" Yuriy Kamelchuk, and all critics of Petro Poroshenko "fuck off."

The words "asshole" and "shit" are conform with writing norms, they are contained in the " Dictionary of the Ukrainian language"  edited by Borys Hrinchenko (1907-1909).

The direct channel objected both to the purpose of the inspection and to its results.

As IMI reported, on January 9, 2020, the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting ordered an unscheduled on-site inspection of the Pryamyy TV channel due to words pronounced by the host Serhiy Poyarkov to the President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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