Oleksiy Matsuka, Editor-in-Chief of Dom TV Channel, Resigns
November 6 – During one of the panel discussions of Donbas Media Forum 2021 Oleksiy Matsuka, Editor-in-Chief of the state TV channel Dom [Home] said: “Over the past year Dom TV has formed a strong team, has had enough opportunities, and will be able to proceed without me.” Matsuka said he plans to “focus on strengthening the presence of Ukraine’s media projects in the non-government-controlled areas” as “there might be a point of no-return” there.
Oleksiy Matsuka is a Ukrainian journalist from Donetsk, head of the board of the NGO Donetsk Institute of Information, and founder of Novosti Donbasa [Donbas News] online news outlet. He was appointed as editor-in-chief of Dom TV channel in February 2021. Dom is a state-funded TV channel that started operations in March 2020 with the aim of broadcasting to the temporarily occupied territories. However, 18 months after its inception it seems the government has expanded its purview to become a nationwide channel, according to various experts.
While there has been no formal announcement of a change in Dom’s goals and reach, the most recent illustrations of a new strategy for the channel include:
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyi gave an interview to Dom TV Channel on August 5 where he said that he wants Dom to broadcast “not only for the temporarily occupied areas, but for internally displaced people in government-controlled areas.”
- On October 28, Detector Media published an article by DM journalist Gala Skliarevska and public purchasing expert Yaroslav Pylypenko providing details and analysis of the large purchase of advertising (online and outdoor) of Dom TV Channel. Outdoor advertising was placed in all oblast centers and cost 30 million hryvnias (approx. US$1.2 million.) Dom spent just 300,000 hryvnias (approx. US$12,000) on advertising in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson oblasts, regions bordering with the conflict zone. The purchase was conducted through a negotiation procedure (not through a competition), as this was allowed by parliament in summer 2021 for companies involved in events devoted to the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine`s independence. Authors of the DM article highlight that despite the technical specifications for the procedure referring to Crimean Platform Summit promotion, none of the actual advertising messages placed is connected to the summit, IDPs or occupied areas, but instead address a wider audience (“Want to know the truth? Watch Dom TV Channel”). Following DM’s information request Dom TV’s general director Yulia Ostrovska said that “the target audience of Dom is dispersed throughout Ukraine and needs to stay in one information space.” According to the article, “the broadcaster is acquiring the status of a state-owned nationwide Russian language TV channel.” By comparison, UA:PBC`s annual advertising budget is just 300,000 hryvnias (approx. US$12,000).
- On November 1, Serhiy Rakhmanin, Holos MP and former journalist, during the UA:PBC talk show “Countdown,” said Dom “is targeting not those living in the occupied areas, but internal audiences.”
More on Detector Media in Ukrainian.
Photo: Donetsk Institute of Information