OSCE Representative welcomes new Ukrainian public service broadcasting law as way to improve media pluralism
VIENNA, 14 May 2014 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today welcomed the adoption of a public broadcasting law in Ukraine as a significant effort to institutionally reinforce media freedom in the country.
“With the adoption of this law the Ukrainian Parliament is clearly abandoning the concept of state-controlled media and introducing international standards of public service broadcasting,” Mijatović said. “Broadcasters funded by the public must serve the public and not the political leadership.”
“The new public broadcasting company will now need to set the standards of independence, pluralism and professional standards for all media in Ukraine,” she said.
The law, published today, was passed by the Verkhovna Rada in April. It envisions that all state-run television and radio companies, including regional and world services, shall be transformed into joint entities under the control of civil society. The law establishes the priority of the public interests over commercial and political ones. It outlines legal and institutional frameworks to protect the independence and accountability of public service broadcasting. It also rules that the national budget will finance public broadcasting by providing at least 0.2 percent of its previous year’s fund, while advertising shall not exceed 5 percent of the hourly airtime.
Mijatović noted that recommendations made during a review of the law’s draft made by her Office in 2013 were taken into account by the Rada deputies.
The text of the legal review is available in Russian at: http://www.osce.org/ru/fom/104653