«Not really dramatic» incident with Mendel for Tkachenko
Oleksandr Tkachenko, MP from “Servant of the People” and chairman of the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy, does not see “nothing really dramatic” in the incident involving the Press Secretary of the head of state Yulia Mendel and the journalists. Oleksander Tkachenko told it on the air of Radio NV, as Novoe Vremya reported.
At the same time, Tkachenko called the incident "unpleasant."
“The incident by itself - it is not really nice – as to me, I don’t see this is really dramatic. <...> This is a problem of some more profound communication as to understanding each other [by journalists and the new government],” Tkachenko said.
According to the MP, this incident exposed conflict of journalists' expectations about openness of the new government towards the press and communication of new public officials with the journalists.
IMI reported, in September in Kyiv, the press secretary of the President Yulia Mendel pushed away the Radio Svoboda correspondent Serhiy Andrushko in order prevent the journalist from asking some questions to Volodymyr Zelensky.
For her part, Yulia Mendel noted that she had not pushed Sergei Andrushko, and added that journalists should not violate the safety of the first person.
Radio Liberty has released a full video of the incident.
On September 27, the journalist of Radio Liberty Christopher Miller and his colleague for Livyy Bereh Natalya Shimkov claimerd that they had also recently encountered similar behavior by Presidential Press Secretary Yulia Mendel.
On September 30, Media Movement and several other media representatives called on the President Volodymyr Zelensky to respond publicly to that alarming tendency, when the staff of the President's Office made obstruction to the journalists’ work.
On September 30, several independent journalists, “Initiative 34”, demanded to dismiss the presidential spokeswoman Yulia Mendel for her "unprofessional and unethical" behavior towards the press.
On October 1, at a briefing, President Volodymyr Zelensky made a joke with allusion to that scandal involving his press secretary Yulia Mendel, asking her at the press point: "Did you push anyone, Yul, didn’t you?"
Photo credits: Andriy Gudzenko / LIGA.net