Following the abrupt resignation of Zurab Alasania, CEO of the Ukrainian National TV, the country’s journalists, civil society activists and politicians have signed an open letter to Ukrainan authorities demanding to stop the sabotage of the public broadcasting reform. Alasania explained the resignation with ‘slow progress on the reform’ and ‘soviet type of thinking among channel’s employees.’
Recent funding cutbacks have been also mentioned as one of the reasons behind Alasania’s resignation: instead of promised €42,8 million the Ukrainian government has allocated only €7 million.
the President of Ukraine
the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
In light of the resignation of the Director General of NTCU, Zurab Alasania, we, the journalists, MP’s and media experts, have discussed the situation around the public service broadcasting reform. We believe that the lack of due and timely reaction on the problems, which constantly emerged and only keep emerging during the process of the transformation of state broadcasters towards the National Public TV and Radio Broadcasting Company, can result in the failure of the reform.
Therefore, we decided to unite into the coalition “For the Public Service Broadcasting!” and, hence, demand the following:
To stop the sabotage of the public service broadcasting reform in Ukraine.
To provide full financing of the public broadcaster in 2017 and further on in amount, guaranteed by the law. The Eurovision shall not be financed from the money, cut from the general financing of NPTRBCU.
From the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine: to provide the amendments to all the necessary acts of the government and the ministries, which are needed for the finish of the transformation and further functioning of JSC NPTRBCU; adopt the NPTRBCU Statute, approved by the civic society, till 31 December 2016.
From the Committee on freedom of speech and information policy of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: to consider the problems of the public service broadcaster and to provide control with regard to the adoption of NPTRBCU Stature.
From the State Property Fund of Ukraine: to finish the property evaluation of National TV Company of Ukraine and its affiliates till 30 November 2016.
From the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the State Committee on TV and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine: to agree the candidacy of the interim Director General with the Supervisory Council of the NPTRBCU; to guarantee the independent editorial policy, inter alia, with regard to the topics of anticorruption, reforms and events of public interest.
Do prevent the end of cooperation with all investigative programs, which are being broadcasted on UA:Pershyi and to provide the non-intervention into their editorial policy.
From the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine: to provide the interim rules for financing of JSC NPTRBCU.
From the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the State Committee on TV and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine: we demand not to approve the resignation of the Director General of NTCU, Zurab Alasania, before hearing his report on the problems of implementation of the public service broadcasting reform.
This coalition is an open civic initiative. We call on our colleagues to support the demands and protect the reform.
We would like to remind, that the formation of the public service broadcaster was one of the key demands of the civic society over the course of the Revolution of Dignity and remains one of the key Ukrainian international obligations. We call on all the state organs, which are engaged in the creation of the public service broadcasting, to finish the reform.
Zurab's interview on the matter.
NGO 'Hromadske TV'