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Suspilne quits the United News telethon, remains in the #UArazom project (CLARIFIED)

21.05.2024, 11:05

Suspline Broadcasting will quit the "United News" telethon starting May 21, but will remain in the project "United News #UArazom". Suspilne will expand the project by producing its own telethon, having signed a corresponding memorandum between all participants, according to the broadcaster's statement.

Svitlana Ostapa, head of the PBCU supervisory board, said in a comment to IMI: "Suspilne was able to reach an agreement with the telethon's producers to expand the news programming within the context of the joint telethon. Pershiy will have its own broadcasting, perhaps we will share content with other producers of the united telethon. We asked the chairs of parliamentary committees to provide us with guarantees. They contacted the NSDC and received answers."

According to the PBCU's announcement, Suspilne Broadcasting will produce its own share of the news telethon within "United News #UArazom" on May 21 from 15:30 as a media outlet with a special legal status. The content will air on the nationwide Pershiy TV.

The news segment of the Pershiy telethon will be supplemented with additional content:

  • Suspilne News;
  • "Suspilne. Studio";
  • in-house documentaries, investigations.

Suspilne will continue to exchange content with all participants of the telethon "United News #UArazom".

The telethon participants signed an additional agreement to the Interaction and Cooperation Memorandum regarding a new approach to expanding the capacities for implementing a unified information policy in Ukraine iunder martial law and providing a 24-hour news telethon "Unified News #UАразом" starting May 30, 2022.

It will be recalled that at the start of the full-scale invasion, the largest commercial broadcasters, Rada and Suspilne, united to create a 24-hour news telethon "United News" to keep the people informed on the key events in compliance with the journalism standards. The initiative was one of the best and most unique examples of media self-regulation in the world, as well as an effective practice of partnership between the private sector and the state.


On April 25, Svitlana Ostapa, the head of the Suspilne Supervisory Board, reported that the government plans to remove Suspilne from the evening slots of the telethon. The Suspilne Supervisory Board came out with a counter-proposal regarding the telethon slot reassignment: to give all primetime slots to Suspilne.

On April 24, deputy Maryana Bezugla made several Facebook posts on the feasibility of funding six state-owned channels, listing Suspilne as a "state-owned" broadcaster, too.

She noted that Suspilne, Dom and FreeDom have a small outreach and "diversify money allocation", and offered to fund just channel instead, namely, Rada or Suspilne.

On April 29, Suspilne appealed to the heads of four Verkhovna Rada committees with a request to assess the statements by deputy Maryana Bezuhla and to look into the attempt at putting pressure on the media company and undermining the reform to create an independent broadcaster, which was one of the prerequisites for Ukraine's accession to the European Union.

On April 30, the Media Movement members called to cease pressure on Suspilne and to let the company keep the evening primestime slots in the telethon.

On May 2, Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, chair of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech, said that the attack on Suspilne will be perceived by all European pro-reform forces as an attack on freedom of speech and an attempt to smear the journalistic community.

Earlier, the US State Department included the national telethon "United News" in its report on human rights violations in Ukraine in 2023. The report noted that the telethon provided the government with an "unprecedented level of control over primetime television news."

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