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Volyn Oblast Council decides against creating a communal channel after a public backlash

16.11.2023, 13:29

The Volyn Oblast Council planned to consider a draft decision on the creation of a new communal TV channel at their upcoming session today, November 16. This triggered a backlash from deputies and activists, which resulted in the project being removed from the agenda, reports the IMI representative in Volyn oblast.

The Volyn Oblast Council's plan to create a new audiovisual media outlet was reported on the eve of the session, on November 15, as deputies and activists started writing about it on social media. They published photos of the draft decision and criticised it, as they believe that the purpose of such a media outlet would be to promote the local government.

Yulia Vusenko, a deputy of the Volyn Oblast Council, said on Facebook that her faction would not support this draft decision, because, in her opinion, now is not the right time for creating such communal enterprises and one should be thinking about winning the war.

Photo – Yulia Vusenko on Facebook

"Konkurent" editor Andriy Luchyk managed to take a screenshot from the Volyn Regional Council website that shows the issue featured on the agenda. The 17th item on the list was about creating a public audiovisual media outlet. There is nothing about it on the website now.

Screenshot from the Volyn Oblast Council website taken by Andriy Luchyk

The journalist thinks it is inappropriate to create a communal TV channel during a war.

"There is a war outside, in case someone didn't notice. People go out into the street and say: 'Stop fixing pavements, give us drones, everything must go to the front!', 'For victory!' They're right, because I've been saying for a long time that the best investment right now is an investment in our armed forces and in our victory. The sooner it comes, the more beneficial it will be to all of us as a society on the whole. It's spending money efficiently," Lucyk told the IMI representative.

"We know that Ukraine denationalized the mass media. All the district outlets which used to be state or communal property of local councils or district state administrations, including TV channels... All local newspapers went free floating with a certain transition period and some benefits, so that they could rent an office, settle somewhere and earn some money, etc. Obviously, this process did not go smoothly everywhere, but we were required to have free media, not controlled by the authorities. And here we are creating a communal TV channel, an audiovisual media outlet, and during the war, no less. I don't even know how to comment on it and what is the logic. Even if this decision is not adopted today, the very fact that it is being discussed in seriousness... We should note that this issue is on the agenda but there is still no draft decision. Why isn't there one?” Andriy Luchyk commented.

In her comment to the IMI representative, Snizhana Shevchuk, deputy head of the Volyn Oblast Council management department, noted that the issue of creating a communal channel had been removed from the agenda and would not be considered.

"No (it will not be considered. – Ed.), it has been removed from the agenda. It was not clear to me where this item came from and who had previously considered it. I went and asked. They said that the issue had been removed from the agenda," she said.

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