UARU
"Black Accountancy" Leak and Media Corruption In Ukraine, Explained
7 June, 2016
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What You Need To Know:

✓ The documents, which are only a small part of what is said to be many more show how the Ukrainian press, mainly INTER and ICTV, received money from the Party of Regions;

✓ “When Party of Regions came to power, we have mostly a monopoly of information;”
Rozkladay is convinced that this leak will have little to no effect “unfortunately because it’s normal practice for media market;”

✓ This could be the start for public discussion on media corruption.

The “black accountancy” document leak of the 2102 Party of Regions bribe payments was not surprising, says Ihor Rozkladay of the Media Law Institute. “In fact, this wasn’t a surprise for us because we know that the Ukrainian market is very oligarchic and very concentrated.” The documents, which are only a small part of what is said to be many more show how the Ukrainian press, mainly INTER and ICTV, received money from the Party of Regions. More channels and networks might be revealed in other documents.

According to Rozkladay, the first stage of Ukraine’s media market emerged in the early 90s. In 1995, the first INTER channel appeared “as a clone of Russian ORT”—Russian Public television. Up until 2013, ORT was the owner of the station and much of the content was simply copy and pasted from the Russian station.

Before the Party of regions came to power, there were 3-4 oligarchs who fought between themselves, explains Rozkladay, which allowed some different points of views. “When Party of Regions came to power, we have mostly a monopoly of information.” While there are a few independent channels and journalists, the audience for independent initiatives is quite small.

Rozkladay is convinced that this leak will have little to no effect “unfortunately because it’s normal practice for media market.” Many people take black cash in the media market, especially during the elections. He would like to believe, however, that this could be the start for public discussion on media corruption.

Hromadske’s Josh Kovensky spoke to Ihor Rozkladay of the Media Law Institute on June 5th 2016 in Kyiv.