Antonina Cherevko, Chairman of the Independent Media Council, and Zurabi Alasania, Chairman of the Board of UA:PBC, have signed a memorandum of cooperation.
The Public Broadcaster is under constant pressure for setting high journalistic standards, covering topics of importance to society, being intolerant of paid-for content and establishing a pubic dialogue to enhance the public trust.
In such circumstances, the Independent Media Council undertakes to provide expert support for the programs broadcast on the Public Broadcaster’s channels and its digital platform, as well as take all possible measures to protect the independence of the Public Broadcaster from political, financial and other forms of pressure.
The text of the Memorandum in English:
National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine The Independent Media Council
Memorandum of Cooperation
In Ukraine, public broadcasting was established 27 years after the declaration of independence, when the countries of the so-called Warsaw Pact had undergone this process and part of Ukraine’s territory had been under Russian occupation for two years.
Therefore, the stated mission of the Public Broadcaster is “protection of freedom in Ukraine”, and its task is to provide society with accurate and balanced information about Ukraine and the world, establish a public dialogue to enhance the public trust, civic responsibility, Ukrainian language and culture, personality and the Ukrainian people.“
At the same time, the Public Broadcaster is as a constant stimulus for politicians and the owners of commercial broadcasters, setting high journalistic standards, being intolerant of paid-for content and covering what is of true importance, rather than what someone would be willing to artificially impose on society, often to avert attention from the more important topics of public interest. Consequently, the Public Broadcaster is under pressure in the form of chronic underfunding and black PR campaigns, at the slightest pretext.
In these difficult conditions, the Public Broadcaster needs no criticism other than quality criticism, advice and guidance, and expert support to hold quality journalism to the highest standards, work on mistakes in a good manner and pay attention to the topics requiring public attention at a specific period of time.
To this end, the Public Broadcaster and the Independent Media Council approve this Memorandum and agree as follows:
- The Independent Media Council shall undertake to provide assessment, advice and commentary on the programs broadcast on the Public Broadcaster’s channels and its digital platform, taking into consideration the conditions for admissibility of cases, as provided for by the Regulations on the Independent Media Council;
- The Public Broadcaster shall apply to the Independent Media Council in cases where a program product is possibly unbalanced, biased or containing elements of discrimination, or if there are reasonable doubts as to the product’s compliance with Ukrainian law or well-established international standards of freedom of expression and human rights in general. Acting within the limits set by the relevant legislation, regulations and internal documents, the Public Broadcaster shall endeavor to take appropriate response measures in accordance with the opinions or decisions by the Independent Media Council, provided in response to requests from the Public Broadcaster;
- The Independent Media Council shall undertake to point out the shortcomings of the Public Broadcaster’s program policy in ways acceptable to the Parties, as well as provide recommendations for its improvement;
- Acting within the limits set by the relevant legislation, regulations and internal documents, the Public Broadcaster shall seek to take into consideration the recommendations and opinions by the Independent Media Council on particularly sensitive topics;
- The Independent Media Council shall take all possible measures to protect the independence of the Public Broadcaster from political, financial and other forms of pressure;
- The Parties may hold mutual consultations and / or events with regard to the Public Broadcaster’s program policy, activity priorities, and educating journalists in order to uphold the mission of public broadcasting.
Chairman of the Board Chairman of the IMC
Zurabi Alasania Antonina Cherevko