Fines, disbarment and prison. As in “Servant of the people” are going to clean up the media and throwing journalists

Штрафы, лишение лицензий и тюрьма. Как в "Слуге народа" собираются зачищать медиа и сажать журналистов

112 channel after firing of a grenade launcher in the summer of 2019ze-the team gradually reveals his plans regarding freedom of speech in Ukraine. It waits for rigid regulation and total state control.

These findings at least can be done from a number of statements made by “public Servants.”

And recently they were crowned by the decree of the President Zelenskiy, which gives the start of this process. It requires before the end of the year to make laws on “standards news” and increase the responsibility of journalists and the media for their violation.

Judging by earlier statements of the functionaries of the ze-team responsibility up to criminal.

However, after a scandal – no such rules in any other European country – the first person “public Servants” and the Cabinet began to say that they got it wrong, and no draconian measures against the press are planned.

However, if you follow what I said, and most importantly – did the new government in the last few months, it develops a somewhat different picture. “Country” versed in “the Servant of the people” for journalists and as the government plans to clean up themselves under these.

Revelation Poturaeva

After the election Zelensky President, he promised to unleash “a powerful informational war.” Mainly in the Donbas. However, since the region she touched a little. But in Kiev, the battle turned almost immediately.

Talking seriously about reforms of the media sphere even in the summer, on the eve of parliamentary elections, started the EA see team Nikita Poturaev – Dnepropetrovsk technologist working in the party Igor Kolomoisky “Dill”. Being a candidate from “public Servants,” he made sketches of future changes.

“First, you need to ensure the transparency of ownership and to understand what the money bought media. Secondly, you need to conduct a public annual economic audit. Thirdly, there must be an independent editorial policy on the news. For this we can oblige the company to provide a contract with the owner about his non-interference in editorial policy”, – said Poturaev.

He also proposed to transfer the functions of the state Committee of the national Council on TV and to expand the restrictive-permissive action of this body on all media.

“The Council need to do more independent – to form it on the basis of different quotas, and with the help of an independent selection Committee. The composition of the national Council must be increased by one person, because 8 members is the ability to block any decision. By changing it you can change the name – for example, the national Council for media”, – said Poturaev.

After winning “Servants of the people” in the elections to the Parliament the government planned to transfer all the levers of influence on the new media Committee for information and humanitarian policy. It was headed by the former Director General of the “pros” Kolomoisky Alexander Tkachenko. Went in there and Poturaev. Which gave a very candid interview about the challenges of the newly established Committee.

In it, he reiterated the argument that the national Council should be engaged in now by all the media, not just TV and radio. Including Internet websites a new mega-regulator will be able to block.

“About blocking websites: I think it should all go to the regulator. If the regulator recognizes the content is illegal, designed to undermine the constitutional order and pose a threat to the territorial integrity, then of course they should be blocked,” – said the MP, without specifying that the lock must pass through the court, as envisaged now.

Another idea voiced by the new government in the face of Poturaeva is the creation of criteria for “bad” content.

“We have not spelled out what malicious content… Need to prescribe criteria for such content. For example, where the offense is to pound water in a mortar about the world. And who is against peace? All over the world. And what to do about it? Go prove that it’s the same as saying Kabaevoy or Dmitry Kiselyov and Solovyov.

For example, medvedkovskoe channels (i.e. “112 Ukraine”, NewsOne and ZiK owned associate of Viktor Medvedchuk Taras Kozak. – Ed.) I say the same about the integrity of the country, only with a special status. Can I say that the special status is a crime, if the previous Parliament supported? And where I have evidence that a crime?” said Poturaev.

Apparently, such “evidence” and are going to register in the new laws on the media. Moreover, the August statements of MP are correlated with the November decree Zelensky, which issued the necessity of establishing some “standards”.

It will all become a big media-code, which will replace other laws in this sphere.

“(We prepare) the draft law on audiovisual services, which should replace the laws and the national Council on television and radio broadcasting, print media… That was one big media act, which would be all that concerns the media. Because when dozens of such laws, there is a lot of ties, ducane, treccani, things like that,” said the political strategist.

While Poturaev made a weird statement saying that they have a right to exist in Ukraine only three media group – Kolomoysky, Pinchuk and Akhmetov.

“I do not yet see the possibility of the existence in Ukraine of a powerful broadcasters, but four: Public, “1+1”, StarLight (holding StarLightMedia combines three major TV channel of the top six: ICTV, STB, New channel. – Approx. ed.), “Ukraine.” I am not suggesting that we should close, just can’t see where to get the money for their existence. The market? Where to get them?” the Counsellor said “Servants of the people”, speaking about the deliveryzetia media – another item of possible reforms.

Note that Kolomoisky, Pinchuk and Akhmetov, albeit to different degrees, but all close to Zelensky. At the same time Poturaev not named among the broadcasters “have the right to exist” channels included in the media close to the opposition, – “inter” (the owners – Firtash, Lyovochkin), “112 Ukraina”, NewsOne and ZIK (ally of Medvedchuk Taras Kozak).

The attack on the television

Interestingly, in parallel with plans Poturaeva, began an open – at the level of the President and of the national Council – the attack on the above channels.

Autumn 112 channel denied digital licenses on NewsOne, the national Council appealed to the court about deprivation of the license, and in the Parliament create a Commission of inquiry on the legality of the purchase of these media by the Deputy from “Oppositional platform” Taras Kozak.

As already said, the Country, the attack on the television there are two aspects.

The first is political competition. “Servant of the people” trying to deny “the Opposition platform” of its media in anticipation of a possible decline in the popularity of Zelensky in the South-East of Ukraine, where opsi is the main competitor of “Servant”.

In this case, local election (or special election to Parliament) will show a significant growth of popularity of “Applatform” in this strategic region in light of the fact that Zelensky largely copies a course Poroshenko contrary to the expectations of many of their constituents.

Apparently to foil this scenario, media associated with the “Applatform” and trying to close.

The second aspect is business competition between channels, but rather by their owners. “Medvedkovsky three” holds a strong lead among the news channels. In this area there are assets Poroshenko and Akhmetov. And this creates a bond between “servants” and oligarchs who want to occupy the TV niche. Moreover, Akhmetov will soon launch its news channel.

That such a consensus really exists, you can see the voting of the national Council for the deprivation of licences of the channel 112.

These arguments show that any delicate in relation to the media of mediareport to expect from the new authorities is not necessary. And recently, this hypothesis was confirmed.

Revelation Borodyansky and Tkachenko

6 November, Parliament passed the first in ten years, parliamentary hearings on the protection of journalists against attacks and attacks.

This is for our country a serious problem: such cases are practically not investigated by law enforcement authorities. The reason is simple – journalists attack mainly people associated with the government. In semi-feudal Ukrainian reality is their complete impunity.

It would seem that the theme of the hearings was obliged to speak on the protection of journalists. However, the representatives of the authorities and struck the bottom.

First to the microphone was released by the Minister on humanitarian policy Vladimir Borodyansky. Former media Manager of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation said that the need to introduce criminal liability for journalists.

“The responsibility of journalists for dissemination of false and manipulative information needs to be strengthened. And this is the third part of our important changes, which I have already spoken. Namely, the introduction into law of the concepts of “manipulation of public opinion”, “manipulating public opinion” and their criteria , and the introduction of both administrative and criminal responsibility for ordering and implementation of such manipulation”.

That journalists should be held responsible for the fake, and said the head of the Committee on gospolitike Alexander Tkachenko. At the same time he developed the above thought Nikita Poturaev, which predicted the closure of many TV channels.

“And yet, on the influence of owners on media. Ukraine is almost the only country in Europe where the vast number of private media are unprofitable. This, of course, creates a suspicion that the owners influence on journalists. In football, UEFA, for 10 years, the principle of the so-called financial fair play, relatively speaking, how much you earn – to spend so much. If, for example, for three years, the media constantly are unprofitable, perhaps, there is a chance the application of certain sanctions,” – said Alexander Tkachenko.

He admits that in this case, in Ukraine the TV channels will be less shows, TV series; decrease the number of information channels – but, he said, “this is an honest business”.

Interestingly, said a former CEO of chronically loss-making “pluses”. From which it became clear that sanctions will be applied most likely by the arbitrariness of the authorities.

To sum up, the representatives of the ruling team said that preparing the ground for the closure of any media, as well as criminal prosecution of journalists. After all, the concept of manipulation is quite broad and can be interpreted as anything. In terms of the Ukrainian judicial system, controlled by the authorities, simplify the indictments against the media.

“Dictatorial” decree Zelensky

Three days after the scandalous performances of the Borodyansky and Tkachenko was blessed by the President. Vladimir Zelensky November 9 signed a decree “On urgent measures to reform and strengthen the state.”

In the decree there is an item about the media. Until 31 December 2019, the document orders to develop and submit to the Parliament draft laws regulating the activity of media in Ukraine, providing in particular the provisions of:

about the requirements and standards of Novostei mechanisms to prevent the dissemination of inaccurate, distorted information, it oproverzhenija the prohibition for individuals and legal entities of the aggressor state to own or Finance the media in Ukraineon strengthening of responsibility for violation of legislation on informatsiio is everything that was previously said Poturaev, Tkachenko Borodyansky. Thus the President legalized their promises to tighten the screws in the media.

This caused an even bigger scandal. After which humanitarian Minister hastened to clarify the decree. Borodyansky promised that standards of news one does not regulate. However, it is most of all discouraging: whom now to believe – the Minister or the President?

Borodyansky told that plans to introduce the concept of “threat information”, “misinformation”, “misleading information”. He also announced “the introduction of definitions of the nature of the information as news, entertainment, humorous, etc.”.

Штрафы, лишение лицензий и тюрьма. Как в "Слуге народа" собираются зачищать медиа и сажать журналистов

His contribution to the interpretation of the decree Zelensky made and Tkachenko. He stated that he does not know, how it will operate the bill, which quickly develop in his own Committee.

On the remark of the journalist that the legislation already has the definition of the term “unreliable information” and mechanisms for accountability for its spread, Tkachenko said that it is “about the answers to the questions in the specific media law.”

“It’s a bit different standards of regulation and self-regulation. We don’t know the answer to these questions yet. But we identified the challenges that confront us. Including misinformation, fake, hate speech and other issues I mentioned from the podium during the parliamentary hearings”, – said the MP.

Tkachenko also said that he has no answer to the question who and how will determine whether the information is fake and does her in her hate speech. But earlier, the same Poturaev said it will be the national Council.

“First, we need to prove that this or that information is misinformation. Second, once this happens – it is not a fact, unless, of course, is not a direct appeal. But if there is a constant misinformation or fakes from the same journalist or the media, then we need to have a mechanism of response to such events,” – said Tkachenko.

At the same time, according to the parliamentarian, he does not know what mechanism can be used in such situations.

“Or [the responsibility for] administrative violations, or fines, or license. I now have a concrete answer does not exist. If I have concerns? What I now say no. Knowing what is now we have discussion, we’re talking about. In no way are we anywhere never mentioned any restrictions, censorship, or even any such things,” – said Tkachenko.

He announced a presentation of the ideas of the bill at a meeting headed by the Committee on 14 November.

“The goal is to overcome UMH and close the channels Medvedchuk”

However, in “the Servant of the people” there were people who gave less inconsistent explanations of what is happening.

The people’s Deputy Oleksandr Dubinsky named the two main objectives of the decree Zelensky and the subsequent efforts of the humanitarian block of the government and Parliament.

“The goal of this project is to select UMH (grid stations) at Kurchenko, who is a citizen of the Russian Federation. And at the same time a little nibble Medvedchuk, the channels which form the information policy of the Pro-Russian OPSG,” wrote Dubinsky in telegram.

Штрафы, лишение лицензий и тюрьма. Как в "Слуге народа" собираются зачищать медиа и сажать журналистов

Interestingly, the attack on the UMH has already begun at the end of September. The court transferred the property of the media holding Kurchenko Agency asset management. The implementation of the presidential decree could open a new stage of pressure on the company is an attempt to close it due to the fact that the actual owner is in Moscow.

However, the evidence base is likely to have difficulty. First, it is hardly possible to prove that the holding company received money from Russia (in the media environment it is well known that the owner of the most “milked” than financial your company). Secondly, it is unclear how Ukraine will prove Russian citizenship Kurchenko.

And if will prove, that, according to the “Country” from sources in the UMH, technically, the tycoon owns a significant portion of their assets that are recorded on other people and the chain of companies.

Total in bottom line we can say that the package of media laws, which now serves the government, is likely to include a few points:

the introduction of the concept of “manipulation of information” and “fake information” with the simultaneous introduction of responsibility (up to criminal) media and journalists for its circulation,creating a new regulatory body, which will give broad powers to control all media (not just TV and radio now, but the Newspapers and online media). The control will include the right to revoke the certificate of state registration of mass media and the right blokirovat the work of the media (for example, through blocking sites through the ISP),the simplification of procedures for closing media, which will be charged according to various criteria to Pro (to get funding from Russia, are among the owners of Russian citizens or use the rhetoric that the authorities deem Pro-Russian).Note that collectively these points will lead to the creation of the system of total control of the media by the authorities.

This can prevent the harsh reaction of the journalistic community and international organizations.Vic Wenk

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