Ukrainian media regulator sees bias, propaganda in operations of Pryamiy TV channel
Head of Ukraine's National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting Olha Herasymiuk has noted the presence of problems with impartiality and propaganda in programs aired on the Pryamiy television channel, owned since February 18, 2021 by former Ukrainian President and co-chairman of the European Solidarity parliamentary faction Petro Poroshenko.
"Their problem is the 'partisanship' of their speech, party propaganda. Unfortunately, this is so. They pursue a strange stance: since they are patriots, they are allowed to do what others are forbidden to do like swear during live broadcasts, use offensive language, give biased information. I am categorically opposed to such a stance," Herasymiuk said in an interview with The New Times online newspaper published on Monday.
The National Council has already warned Pryamiy TV channel over the use of obscenities in its programs, she said.
As reported earlier, in June 2020 the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting ordered an after-quarantine inspection of the Pryamiy television station in response to the use of swear words by Echo of Ukraine program host Matviy Hanapolsky in broadcasts on May 1, May 2, and May 3.
The District Administrative Court of Kyiv earlier received the Pryamiy TV channel's lawsuit contesting the council's January 9, 2020 decision regarding an unscheduled inspection.
On January 9, 2020, the council ordered a snap inspection of the Pryamiy television station over a program host's remarks that allegedly sought to "discredit the honor and dignity of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky."
According to the council, those accusations center both on remarks belonging to TV host Serhiy Poyarkov and on the program's contents in general, which the council believes failed to observe generally recognized ethical norms.
The European Solidarity Party said on its website that Poroshenko bought the Pryamiy TV channel from former parliamentarian Volodymyr Makeyenko on February 18, 2021.
"I have paid money, big money, which might have been spent on charity or other projects, including social ones. It's about millions and millions in order to settle the channel's debts and other things," he said.