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ZIK TV to Shut Down its Investigative Journalism Program

10 August: ZIK TV Channel’s Editor and Presenter of “Ostannja Instantzija” [Last Resort] Danylo Mokryk has reported that the channel’s leadership wanted to take his program off the air. Mokryk believes the decision comes in response to his team unwillingness to place pre-paid materials. At the same time, the TV channel’s representatives say that the program will be closed down over low rating figures and because of ZIK’s anticipated ‘restructuring’. 

“We are being shut down. Us – the project “Last Resort”. How is it happening? – well, it is nasty. I believe that in some time ZIK will issue a press release, saying something along the lines that the project has not justified itself, that it had low ratings, and that ZIK will need to focus on more global investigations and blah-blah-blah. We were told at a staff meeting today that they will not give us money for restructuring. All this will unlikely make it into the Channel’s official press release. While I just want to tell you the story of changes now. And I let you draw your own conclusions,” – Mokryk wrote on his Facebook page.

He reminded that ZIK saw its both Chief Producer Gaygisiz Geydiyev and Investigative Reporting Department Chief Daryna Shevchenko leaving earlier this year.

“Olga Movchan has become the Department’s new chief. We had our guesses of where the winds will start blowing. Over the time of its existence ‘Last Resort’ has remained an absolutely independent project, successfully brushing off any external influence and pressure. Obviously, the time has come to turn the project into a project of ‘investor’s and our leadership’s whims’. Right after our team returned to work from our summer leaves, the new department chief Movchan called a staff meeting to tell us that the ZIK Channel did not need a program of social investigations. In her words, these are ‘peanuts’. While she needs a project of ‘bright and hardcore (it’s a quote) investigations,’ ” – Mokryk claims.

In his words, Olga Movchan reportedly passed ZIK Director General Igor Turkevych’s wishes to journalists to produce an episode about the Dubnevych brothers [Lviv-based business magnates] and “KRT” corporation.

“I responded to this request that we cannot feature this topic in our program. You can see for yourselves what material the channel produced at the end. I guess it doesn’t need any comments,” Mokryk wrote.

He also claims that he told Movchan about his unwillingness to ‘produce pre-paid or personalized investigations’, but she explained that leadership will have ‘their own wishes anyway’.

More information in Ukrainian on Detector Media website.