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Public Broadcaster Should Be Fully Funded by State Budget, Experts Say

July 6Tetiana Lebedieva, Chair of the Supervisory Board of the National Public Service Broadcasting Company, called for full funding of the public broadcaster at a news conference at the Urkinform information agency in Kyiv.

“Though someone might think the issue of funding of the public broadcaster is a ministerial thing, in our opinion, it is of the national importance, since the establishment of the public service broadcasting is one of the most important reforms bringing Ukraine to the club of civilized countries, so literally the whole world is watching how the reform is being carried out,” Lebedieva said.

The news conference, which had the theme “Underfunding of the Public Broadcaster – Threat to its Independence and Effectiveness” and was organized by the Supervisory Board of the Public Service Broadcasting Company, included comments from Marten Ehnberg, Head of the Office of the Council of Europe in Ukraine. Ehnberg said public broadcasters’ independence is achieved by independent management, independent editorial policy, and appropriate funding. “The assistance by the Council of Europe on establishing a proper public broadcaster in Ukraine, according to the valid law, was and continues to be the key priority of the Council’s activities,” Ehnberg said.

Artem Bidenko, State Secretary at the Ministry of Information Policy, noted his Ministry advocates for full government financial support of Ukraine’s public broadcaster, which he says is, in fact, happening now. “Everything that the public broadcaster has to receive from the state budget according to the valid law has to be paid to the last cent. The Prime Minister has recently made the same statement,” Bidenko said.

The news conference was supported by the Council of Europe’s Strengthening Freedom of Media and Establishing the Public Broadcasting System in Ukraine project.

More on the website of the Ministry of Information Policy in English.