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Ukraine/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.7 Mass media

The Law on Television and Radio Broadcasting (1993, with amendments 2002-2017) regulates the activities of state and private TV and Radio companies in Ukraine. The National Council on Television (NCT) is a non-ministerial body for all broadcasters irrespective of their ownership status. It consists of 8 members, four of which are appointed by Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and four – by the President.

The Law on Public Television and Radio Broadcasting (2014, with amendments 2015-2016), establishes the legal basis for the activity of Public Television and Radio broadcasting and determines the principles for activity of the National Public TV and Radio Company of Ukraine. The law defines the objectives for creating Public Television: to satisfy the information demands of society, to involve citizens in discussing and resolving the most important social and political issues, and to support formation of civil society.

The Law on Access to Public Information (2011, with amendments 2012-2015) provides access to public information in various ways: by systematic disclosure of information in official printed media, on official websites, at information stands, and in other ways; providing information by demand.

The government made several positive legislative changes in 2015. In February the Parliament approved the liquidation of the National Expert Commission for the Protection of Public Morals, a controversial body that was created in 2004 to enforce the observance of morality laws by the media. Amendments to the Criminal Code adopted in May 2015 increased penalties for crimes against journalists, including attacks, threats, abduction, murder and the destruction of property. 

The organization Reporters Without Borders RSF highlights significant progress by Ukraine in freedom of expression, rising in 2016 by 22 points among 180 countries to 107th place with the characteristics “visible problems”. This progress was one of three best results in the world.

RSF also notes that “authorities have adopted a number of reforms, including media ownership, transparency and access to state-held information, but wealthy businessmen still keep a tight grip on the media. The manifestations of a worrying information war with Russia include book blacklisting, bans on certain journalists entering the country and paranoid behaviour by intelligence services. In the lawless separatist-controlled areas in the east, there are no critical journalists and no foreign observers”.

See also chapters 5.1.7, 5.1.8, and 5.3.6.

Chapter published: 09-02-2018

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