The negative tendencies in the sphere of freedom of speech increased in 2006 compared to the year 2005.

      Acting director of the Institute of Mass Information (IMI) Victoria Siumar claimed this to a press conference in UNIAN today, referring to the data of a freedom of speech monitoring for the year 2006, carried out by IMI and the Independent Media Trade-Union.

      According to her information, the number of conflicts between the press and authorities increased last year.

      She noted that the most critical months in 2006 were March and August, which is explained with the parliamentary electoral campaign, during which the growth of conflicts is natural. The campaign finished in August with the appointment of Victor Yanukovych as a Prime Minister.

      V.Siumar noted that in 2006 they recorded 29 cases of attacks, beating, and threats to journalists, compared to 16 in 2005.

      Besides, there were 31 cases of censorship in 2006, compared to 14 in 2005.

      The number of suits against media grew up more than twice.

      At present, several problems remain pressing in the media. In particular, Ukraine needs creating a public broadcasting system, without which the informational sphere cannot develop in a democratic way. Besides, the country needs working out an effective concept of denationalization, on the basis of which a draft law must be adopted, removing power agencies from founders.

      As for the positive tendencies, there were no journalist murders and arrests at the territory of Ukraine.

      The majority of central Ukrainian media conducted rather an independent editorial policy, as a result of which the Ukrainian society got an opportunity to receive rather a balanced information.