"BBC-ABC" from Medvedchuk. Media breakdowns for June 10-16, 2019
Українською читайте тут.
The guys united three channels — "112 Ukraine", NewsOne, and ZIK, — created the "News" holding, and invited Oleksiy Semenov to manage it. At last, there will be no need for the latter to compete with himself in the face of television channels he once headed. As for such competitors, there is only Priamyi channel left, about which there are currently rumors that there is a reduction in funding. Will Yevhen Kyseliov and Matviy Hanapolskyi join Oleksiy Semenov this time?
"Everyone was always rattling – all those "bbc-abc" – on their standards and something like this. To be honest, I have always spit on these formulations, because I believe that they are meant for people who known little, first of all, about standards, and secondly, about the profession. It's just such an uproar, a way to cover some of their ideological or psychological problems," said Mr. Semenov joyfully in an interview with Channel 4 on the threshold of the broadcast of the news about his appointment.
2.5 years ago we spoke about the possibility that someone will one day gather several information TV channels together. However, back then we suspected that this could be done by President Petro Poroshenko or his circle. There was a logical question: it is obviously inconvenient for someone who has the state power to always depend on the informational and entertaining mercy (or disfavor) of the owners of the "four big" media groups.
Viktor Medvedchuk now controls TV channels whose audience brings him to the fifth place, right after the owners of these "four big" media groups. Why is this bad? Because it is not just about the size of the audience, but also because these are information channels: peculiarities of their programs allow one to repeat the same messages over and over again in a short period of time, thanks to which the audience absorbs them faster, even if its size is actually smaller. And there are no doubts about how harmful these messages are to Ukraine: according to a recent study conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology at the request of Detector Media, NewsOne viewers are less likely to share pro-Ukrainian interpretations of events in Ukraine, than the viewers of other television channels, in particular, events related to the war on the Donbas. There is also a tendency for less pronounced pro-Ukrainian interpretations among the viewers of "Inter" and "112 Ukraine" TV channels.
What can be done about this and by whom? First of all, the state represented by President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, whose team a) understand how the media work, b) may soon receive significant support in the parliament. Increase in the volume of international broadcasting, including in the Russian language, thanks to the development of UATV, which is in the arms of the Ministry of Information Policy; the development of the network of transmission towers, muffling of signals from the Russian territory, encouragement of Zeonbud to willy-nilly increase coverage, financing of the public broadcaster in the extent required by law – these are all issues that can be solved by the new team. In turn, the public broadcaster should also greatly improve its socio-political content on television. Given the example of "Zvorotniy Vidlik" [Countdown] program, the team has already shown that they are capable of this.
We are not naive. We agree with Oleksiy Semenov that the media are always about the money and influence. We understand that Volodymyr Zelensky is currently being approached by different media schemers with all sorts of offers, including those related to the public broadcaster, which they often confuse with a state broadcaster. We have been noticing that Ihor Kolomoiskyi is almost unnoticeably starting to build a system of information restraints and counterbalance to the new president. And we realize that under such circumstances the president may be tempted to gain control over his own large media (and if this is the case, he would not be the first Ukrainian president to have such a temptation. And since all the interesting information channels have already been taken, it is a little scary to think about the fate of the National Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Company of Ukraine).
But we suggest that we put all these important matters aside and take another look at Viktor Medvedchuk: if Russia strengthens its influence in Ukraine, then there soon will not be much left from the analogue of the "semibankirschina" [rule of seven bankers] that is being established in our country today. Putin will not come here alone, but with Russian oligarchs, whose financial opportunities are better than the ones of our oligarchs, just as the ties in the West in some cases. And we don't need this, right?