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National TV channels broadcasted PR film of presidential office

29.09.2021, 13:03
Screenshot from the film "“30 years of Independence. Behind the scenes”
Screenshot from the film "“30 years of Independence. Behind the scenes”

Several national TV channels broadcasted a PR film “30 years of Independence. Behind the scenes,” sent by the President's Office. Among the TV channels that accepted to broadcast it was the public TV channel UA: Pershiy, as the editor- in - chief of Detector Media Otar Dovzhenko said it in his op-ed from September 27.

According to the author, the film was to promote the main message complimentary to the head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak and his deputy Kyrylo Tymoshenko who would be the main creators of the 30th anniversary festivities. And Otar Dovzhenko expressed concern that among the seven channels that accepted to broadcast this PR film was the public broadcaster UA: Pershiy.

The film features beautiful plans, drone shooting, romantic music, the head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak, his deputy Kyrylo Tymoshenko, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and the first lady Olena Zelenska. There are also personnalities involved in the organization of the Crimean Platform, National Flag Day, the Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen and Independence Day itself. Directors, composers, singers, military persons. There are some excerpts from speeches of the head of state.

"The office of the President Volodymyr Zelensky made a film dedicated to its success in organizing the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Ukraine's independence, and offered it to the national TV channels. And so it happened that all four major television groups – of Akhmetov, Pinchuk, Kolomoisky and Firtash-Levochkin - accepted the offer: the film was released on September 24 on six channels (ICTV, Ukraina 24, Inter, 1+1, Ukraina, Dom). The National Public Television and Radio Company of Ukraine also accepted the proposal, with certain reservations, ” Otar Dovzhenko wrote.

Otar DOvzhenko noted that it was still not clear who was the author of that film. The only final credit that viewers could seewas "individual entrepreneur Nesterenko A.V.". It is unknown who was the screenwriter, director, producer of the film; there is no information about who ordered it and paid for it, as Otar Dovzhenko stressed. Detector Media has sent the request for informatioin to the President's Office on this issue.

The author points out that oligarch’s TV channels accepted the offer to show the film just when the Verkhovna Rada passed a law on de-oligarchization.

As for the screening by UA-Pershy public broadcaster, Dovzhenko pointed at that the film was decided to be shown just at the time when MPs were to decide on the budget for 2022, based on which the public broadcaster won’t get its half of a billion. But Dovzhenko doesn’texclude that this might be a coincidence. 

As Yuriy Makarov, the editor-in-chief of the Suspilne Television Directorate, explained to Detector Media, he decided by himself to broadcast the film on UA:Pershy because, they say, he liked the film. 

“In his comments after the screening of the film, Makarov himself justified this screening not as a demonstration of high-quality and important content, but as a certain act of cooperation with the authorities. At the same time proposing to "separate personalities and institutions." In fact, this advice could be forwarded to the film's authors, as it is a compliment to the personalities (Yermak and Tymoshenko), and the institutions in it are in the background, ”the author wrote.

Otar Dovzhenko found that showing this film was a mistake of the Suspilne management. In particular, due to the fact that this is not a documentary, but an advertising product, some of the team had doubts about the appropriateness of that PR product.

“It does not meet the standards of journalistic television documentaries. It categorically contradicts the principles on which the documentary of the Suspline itself is built. It would be impossible to place it on the air of those public broadcasters in the democracies, which the NPTU take as a model, ” Otar Dovzhenko wrote, fearing that such a step would not be a concession to the authorities, which could further lead to a loss of public credence.

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