OSCE media freedom representative concerned about new steps to restrict media plurality in Ukraine
VIENNA, 11 March 2014 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today expressed concern about demands that cable operators in Ukraine stop transmitting certain Russian television channels.
“I repeat my call to the authorities not to initiate these repressive measures,” Mijatović said. “Banning programming without a legal basis is a form of censorship; national security concerns should not be used at the expense of media freedom.”
On 11 March the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine demanded that all cable operators stop broadcasts of the Russian television channels Rossiya 24, ORT, RTR Planeta and NTV-Mir.
“While I deplore any kind of state propaganda and hate speech as part of the current information war, everyone has the right to receive information from as many sources as he or she wishes,” Mijatovic said. “Switching off and banning channels is not the way to address these problems; any potentially problematic speech should be countered with arguments and more speech.”
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on facebook.com/osce.rfom.