Most pronounced political position displayed by TV channels 1+1, Pryamiy, Channel 5, Ukraina, Inter, NewsOne, 112.ua – monitoring
KYIV. Feb 19 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The most pronounced political position in television coverage of the presidential election campaign in Ukraine is displayed by TV channels 1+1, Pryamiy, Ukraina, Inter, NewsOne and 112.ua.
These are the findings of the first interim results of independent monitoring of media coverage of the presidential race in Ukraine from January 14 to February 3, 2019. The monitoring was conducted by a number of public organizations with the support of the Council of Europe. Ukrainian television channels ICTV, STB and UA:Pershyi (UA:First) provided more neutral coverage of presidential candidates, according to the monitoring results.
Channel 1+1 showed sympathy for showman and presidential candidates Volodymyr Zelensky and Oleksandr Shevchenko, while criticizing the current authorities and incumbent President Petro Poroshenko.
Pryamiy TV and Channel 5, which belong to Poroshenko, "openly sympathize" with the incumbent president, according to the monitoring results, which found Pryamiy TV aired "severe criticism" of Batkivschyna Party leader and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko and Zelensky.
The Ukraina (Ukraine) TV channel showed sympathy for the candidate from the Opposition Bloc – Party of Peace and Development leader Oleksandr Vilkul, while criticizing Opposition Platform – For Life leader and presidential candidate Yuriy Boiko for splitting the Opposition bloc. Meanwhile, Inter TV actively covered and supported Boiko's candidacy.
The NewsOne channel openly supports Boiko, said monitors, who said 112.ua TV pays the most attention to Poroshenko and Boiko.
"Almost all media (primarily TV channels), with few exceptions, showed their sympathies or antipathies towards certain presidential candidates. In most cases this can be explained not so much by the position of the journalists themselves, as by the position of media owners, who have their own political interests. This is a trend in not only this election campaign, but in most Ukrainian election campaigns," Director of Ukrainian Media and Communication Institute Diana Dutsyk said.
Council of Europe international expert Rasto Kuzel said Ukrainian media actively cover candidates' events and procedural aspects related to elections.
"But on the other hand, the majority of media have demonstrated their preferences for specific candidates," he said.
The monitoring was conducted by a coalition of public organizations under the aegis of the Commission on Journalistic Ethics, Human Rights Platform, Ukrainian Media and Communication Institute, and StopFake. The monitoring is done with the support of two Council of Europe projects in Ukraine.