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“The issue of party affiliation, in particular of mass-media representative, is confidential information” – Roman Golovenko IMI’s lawyer.

22.11.2011, 02:51
The heads of regional branches of the Party of Regions are demanded to send information about journalists with a detailed description of their political affiliation. “Ukrainska Pravda” website, which has received a letter signed by the head of the Communications Department of the Party of Regions Central Office Elena Bondarenko,  reported on this fact.

"On behalf of the party leadership ... in order to prepare high-quality media-coverage of Parliamentary elections 2012, regional branch of the Party of Regions must provide the filled form of the region media-map to the central apparat of the Party of Regions by 11 July 2011. The form of media-map attached," – it is said in the directive.

The letter instruction says that information about the local media should include ratings, circulation, and contact details. Also, the regional leaders of the Party of Regions are asked to find out the party affiliation of the owner, manager and chief editor of the media.

The questionnaire, which PR branches should fill in for Olena Bondarenko includes the following questions: "Are there any journalists loyal to our ideology? Ideological orientation of journalists’ staff? Has the edition / tele-radio company had any conflicts with our party regional branch?"

 Such requirements on collecting information indicates the violation of Article 7 of the Law "On Protection of Personal Data" which "forbids processing of personal data on race or ethnicity, political, religious or philosophical beliefs, membership in political parties and trade unions, as well as data relating to health or sexual life”.

Commenting this situation to “Ukrainska Pravda” Olena Bondarenko explained the requirements in the directive sent as follows: "One document - a letter on letterhead - is really ours. Although, it surprises me that my signature is absent there. All the documents I sign myself. As for a list of data on media – it is a talented, technological fake. I recognize the hand of master contributing. Almost perfect. Except one detail, but I will not tell about it, in order not to provide the fake author with "roadmap" for future. In terms of media technologist the list is more than full and necessary. Something from this fake list we must seize to replenish our media-card "- Bondarenko said.

According to “Ukrainska Pravda” the local branches of the Party of Regions have not only confirmed the fact of receiving this letter from Bondarenko, but also the requirement to collect information about the party affiliation of local journalists and media owners."

IMI’s lawyer Roman Golovenko: “The issue of party affiliation, in particular of mass-media representative, is confidential information except cases when they made it public themselves or didn’t hide it. Therefore, in order to estimate these documents the way of information collection about the media should be considered: their collection from open sources is legitimate because the information was not confidential. The ideological orientation of certain journalists can be seen from their columns – this is open source. But if someone contacts the editors or their individual employees to provide such information, they have the right not to provide it. Of course, it is illegal to collect such information if it is still confidential, that is, when its owners take measures for its disclosure. That is why we should look at how the letter instructions, if it is not fake, are performed in practice. "


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