Russian TV channels dedicated the largest portion of their airtime to Ukraine in March 2015 - Національна рада України з питань телебачення і радіомовлення

Russian TV channels dedicated the largest portion of their airtime to Ukraine in March 2015

December 9 was the second day of the Expert Seminar “Standards and procedures for the audiovisual regulator: challenges and best practices” held under support of the Joint Programme of the European Union and the Council of Europe “Strengthening the Information Society in Ukraine”.

There were presented the results of the Russian TV channels monitoring carried out in March 2015. Three Russian TV channels “Pervyi Kanal” (“First Channel”), “Rossiya” (“Russia”) and “Russia Today” dedicated biggest portion of their airtime to the international affairs, in particular to the events in Ukraine.

The monitoring results were presented by Mr Rasto Kuzel, Expert of the Council of Europe. He informed that the Project was carried out under support of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Secretariat (EaP CSF), the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) and the Krajowa Rada Radiofonii i Telewizji (KRRiT). The main aim was to confirm the existence of the sound complaints against Russian TV channels and the way they give information. During March 2015 in Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia 8 Russian TV channels such as “Pervyi kanal” (“First Channel”), “Rossiya” (“Russia”), “NTV”, “Russia Today”, “RBK-TV”, “Dozhd”(“Rain”), “Euronews” and “Pervyi Baltiysky Kanal” (“First Baltic Channel”) were monitored.

According to Mr Rasto Kuzel, the media experts analysed daily and weekly transmissions, political talk shows. In general, the monitoring results showed that the Russian channels have been used as a propaganda tool in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The aim is to divert attention from important domestic issues. The assessment of the Ukrainian Government and the Ukrainian Army was negative and critical. The same findings were in relation to the United States of America and the European Union. In addition, Mr Rasto Kuzel highlighted the need to organize a meeting of European media regulators for more detailed discussion of the problems of Russian propaganda and possible ways to face it.

The OFCOM representatives Mr Tony Close and Mrs Maria Donde shared their practical experience on facing and responding to violations exercised by the channel “Russia Today”. They also answered numerous questions on how OFCOM carries out monitoring of broadcasters, how OFCOM influences broadcasters, on the process of communication with broadcasters, on sanctions imposition aspects etc. The guests noted their willingness to have the further dialogue and cooperation and to provide any further support related to various aspects and promised to send materials that might be useful for the Ukrainian Regulator in terms of its regulatory powers fulfilment in the area of audiovisual services.

The both sides were satisfied with the seminar and its practical benefit treating the event as a good launch for the further hopeful fruitful expert dialogue.

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