1+1 TV Channel's license may be revoked
Journalists of Ukraine’s 1+1 TV Channel have published an open letter to President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.
UNIAN is publishing the text in full.
"Today, December 29, 2016 is the day 1+1's license for analog broadcast expires. Two weeks ago, December 15, the National Couuncil on TV and Radio Broadcasting unanimously voted for the renewal and extension of the channel’s license. During consideration of the application, which lasted for six months, no official complaints were addressed to the channel.
Over the past two weeks, from different sources, we have obtained information on the attempt to cancel the decision and seize the channel in a raider attack.
Dear Petro Oleksiyovych [Poroshenko], as a person who also invested his own money and resources in the creation of media in Ukraine, you, more than anyone else, should understand the importance of this issue and the fact that the development of situation is unacceptable when in spite of a legal procedure, the channel cannot renew its license.
We want to remind you about the role of the media in general, and 1+1 in particular, during the Revolution of Dignity. During the reign of [Ukraine's ex-president Viktor] Yanukovych, both we and our colleagues from other media – TV Channel 5, TV Channel 24, TV channels of other media groups, got used to the need of constant standoff against pressure and the attempts by the authorities to interfere in media operations. We are confident that from the Maidan stage, the three of you advocated, among other things, the idea that such a situation would not repeat itself.
We are surprised and concerned that the National Council, whose members are appointed directly by the President and the Verkhovna Rada, are delaying the process of execution of their own decision. Over the past two weeks, from reliable sources, we have received reports that it is the Presidential Administration which is trying to influence decision-making by the National Council and to transfer control over the channel in the other hands.
We do not want to believe it, and we really fail to understand whose interests might stand behind such actions, but we are confident that you, as President of Ukraine, as a guarantor of the Constitution, as well as the leaders of the Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers, must ensure implementation of the decision of Dec 15, 2016, in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation, and to show respect for the independence of the media.
There have been no comments or complaints from the National Council toward 1+1 TV channel. Therefore, we do not understand why on the day of termination of our analog license, Dec 29, and after we have paid the license fee, we not feel uncertainty, but we also face the threat of broadcast termination or appointment of some new management from the outside, which is nonsense for a private company.
It is symbolic that on Jan 1 2017, Ukraine's leading news service TSN marks its 20th anniversary. Our journalists have repeatedly witnessed attempts to take control over the channel's editorial policy. However, the trust and support of millions of viewers have always helped to get out of difficult situations.
We wish to caution and warn those who are behind the attempts to switch off the channel, which is a daily source of news for the millions of Ukrainians, that even in the absence of the document, we have the legal right to continue broadcasting. We cannot be intimidated anymore, but we hope that in 2016, in contrast to the situation three years ago, the state itself is interested in the implementation of legal procedures and operations of independent media.
1 +1 Media CEO O.Tkachenko
Director of the Department of Information Broadcasting S.Popov
Director of the Investigative Journalism Department M. Shilenko
TSN Week anchor A. Mazur
TSN anchor N. Moseychuk
TSN anchor L. Taran
1+1 anchor, Honored Artist of Ukraine Yuriy Horbunov,
Head of Kvartal-95 Studio Volodymyr Zelensky"