The CEO of Ukraine’s public broadcasting company Zurab Alasania was dismissed from his position following a Supervisory Board vote on January 31. Given that the country’s presidential elections are a now a mere two months away, many within the media community were quick to criticize the decision as censorship.
Alasania himself published a document on Facebook, which cites a lack of coverage of events attended by President Poroshenko as the reason for the early termination of his contract. Although, the official grounds for dismissal have not yet been made public.
Ukraine has long fought for an independent broadcasting company, similar to that of the UK’s BBC. Suspilne, as it’s known today, began operating in its current form in January 2017, but it is still undergoing reform. Most other national channels in Ukraine are owned by oligarchs and politicians, therefore the need for a truly independent broadcasting service is more important than ever.
This week on the Sunday Show, we sit down with a group of media experts to discuss the controversy surrounding Alasania’s dismissal and how this impacts the future of Ukraine’s public broadcaster and media freedom as a whole.
advisor to EED Content Fund
Supervisory Board member, National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine
attorney, Media Law Institute