On the 13th of June in Kiev in the conference room of the luxurious “The President Hotel” inspiring international conference ” The reform of public and municipal printed media: first results of the reform. ” took place. As the project takes place in the context of large-scale and multi-year plan “Media freedom in Ukraine,” it provoked huge interest among representatives of local media: from each corner of Ukraine more than 200 participants came to the capital.
Victoria Siumar,who is the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Commitee on Freedom of Speech and Information Policy, did not come to the event, which was organized and conducted by the Framework Agreement for cooperation of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, EU and OSCE. Explanation – she is preparing for the field session at Donbass scheduled for the following day. Answer: on their own initiative 3 local newspapers editors from the Ukraine controlled areas of Donetsk and Lugansk came to the meeting. They told about the terrible destruction of information in frontline areas. One of them – Elena Zolotareva from the damaged Stanytsia Luganska – claimed: ‘If Ukrainian authorities do not immediately deal with information security, the “problem of separatism soon will move from the Donbas to Dnipro or Ivano-Frankivsk. ” Unfortunately, neither Victoria Syumar nor any other member of her deputy committee, had not heard that.
An important meeting was ignored even by the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice. Pavlo Petrenko was the first one to attend the meeting. Then the mission shifted to his alternate Pavlo Moroz. All in all, the presidium seat appeared to be empty. Defining feature for extremely important public authority, which should encourage the privatization of the Ukrainian media …
Of all the possible public institutions directly involved in the privatization process (the Administration of President, the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, State Fiscal Service and so on.) only the head of the State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine, Oleg
Nalyvayko, was present. As the head of the National Association of Ukrainian Journalists he also actively lobbied for the creation of democratic media, and now forced to lead this faulty ship between Scylla and Charybdis of legislation disageements and opposition of the local “princelings” of the government…
Some important reasons did not allow the head of Council of Europe in Ukraine
Morten Enberg to enter “The President Hotel”. But the Sector Manager of Civil Society and Media of the European Union in Ukraine ,Colomb de Mers , and the expert of the Council of Europe Shane Abasov, who came from Brussels, worked with Ukrainian journalists for some time.
Thus, the statistics of the included into the pilot project of privatization and publishing houses who completed it with clashes, is sad: only 57 print media could get all the documents for emancipation, and more than 500 must still look for the truth in authority offices and court rooms …
At the same time Oleg Nalyvayko hopes that things will get better after the adoption of changes and amendments to the law on privatization. If deputies vote for it (the definite date remains unknown), the local authorities will be “stimulated” for privatization in a month, the property of publishing houses will be assigned to journalists and nobody will be able to dismiss editors. Oleg Ihorovych, also believes that it is important to influence local government , so that it will donate money for agreements covering its activities and financially
improve the “new media.”
“Now we reform ourselves singly … Singly we go to te courts, authority offices … But the powerful cooperative force of journalists must be created! “, – he said, apparently not as an official, but as a journalist.
But not even this disastrous result of the reform, which runs from January 1, 2016, can be considered as a principal one.
Shane Abasov reminded that privatization of local newspapers and television was one of the requirements of the European Community for visa-free travel and Association with the EU.
“Media reform is an essential of all the reforms in Ukraine! But tough economic conditions extremely complicate the survival of local publishing houses “- he emphasized.
On the “basis” of the media functioning spoke also Colomb de Mersey:
“Approval of privatization laws is very painful for journalists. Government have not followed the financial promises during the last six months. But without money for the development of newspapers no renewal will ever exist! So let’s think together how to solve this problem.
Ukrainian journalists can fully rely on support of the Rada and the European Union. For if there is no thought pluralism and free media in Ukraine, democracy will never happen! “.
Being already in a hurry to another event Colomb de Mersey told the author of the article that there is a project of financial support of “new media in Ukraine”, which has received about 300 applications this year. In fact, they can fund only 10 of them… Therefore, among the 300 Spartans who are
fighting for freedom, only ten will get shields and swords. And 290 shall fight without any weapon…
“None of the officials neither in Kiev nor in places are going to control of the media! So they are looking for any way, even ivolving financial tricks , trying to save their usual status quo – declared Tomilenko. – deregulation now – Privatization now is only a journalists defence of their
According to data presented by Oleksiyey Pohoryelovi, local Ukrainian Periodic is entering a catastrophic time. Last year revenue from TV commercials in currency
had fallen twice, while in the printed media it is 6 times lower, but according to the Internet resources there in only growth.
So then there is a to lawmakers: is printing papers the essential conditionfor media privatization, while the whole world is into the electrionic media?. Even this influential and respected newspaper as “New York Times ” has claimed to change the environment into the Internet media…
As for the experience of privatization, it is all different. Ins some cases authorities agreed with publishing houses heads, who used their
“wedding night” rights fully (for example, the editor of a loca newspaper Ihor Leus admitted that in the process of privatization the staff has “voluntary rejected it, not to waste the force” of their shares, and now he is the only owner of 3 cars, 2 houses and all the other goods) and somewhere people have to survive endless audits (as, for example, Maria Hitko who works for Kivertsi local newspaper “Free ways”
Also the Council of Europe expert Andrzej Krajewski (Poland) and Deyvidas Ridikas (Lithuania) have shared their experience.
The editor in chief of ‘Volyn’ Newspaper’ and a chairman of the National Association of Ukrainian Journalists Volodymyr Danyliuk has taken part in a conference and has given a speech.
In the picture : Shane Abasova, Colomb de Mersey,Oleg Nalyvayko; Andrzej Krajewski, Deyvidas Ridikas And Alexei Pohoryely; the organizing committee while the registration.