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Media Movement Supports Sanctions Against Medvedchuk’s Channels but Cautions Against Punishing Employees

February 6 – The Media Movement published a statement on Detector Media supporting the government’s sanctions against the owner of the “Medvedchuk channels,” saying it is an appropriate step in the fight against disinformation. The Media Movement called on the authorities to adhere to all relevant international commitments and to provide the public with comprehensive arguments to confirm that this action was proportional, legal, and balanced the need for security with the rights to protection of free speech essential to democratic countries. At the same time, the Media Movement cautioned the authorities against creating a “blacklist” of employees working at the sanctioned channels.

The statement reads that the results of monitoring of pro-Russian propaganda showed that the sanctioned channels (NewsOne, 112 Ukraine, and ZIK) produced more than half of the Kremlin disinformation messages seen in Ukraine’s media space. The National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting has applied legal sanctions to these TV channels nearly 40 times (warnings, fines, lawsuits to revoke licenses, etc.).

The Media Movement stated that top level managers, journalists and presenters at these TV channels manipulated content to please the companies’ pro-Russian owners. However the Media Movement called on lower level staff at these three channels who did not directly participate in these manipulations and did not share the views of the companies’ pro-Russian owners to fight for their labor rights. The statement also urged Ukrainian media not to refuse to hire employees who did not share the views of the channels’ owners and are ready to sign a Code of Journalistic Ethics and adhere to it.

The Media Movement “Media for a Conscious Choice” was created on February 5, 2019 and has more than 70 members in total.

More on Detector Media in English.