The Media Movement supports sanctions against Medvedchuk's channels and urges not to persecute employees
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Lies, which are persistently and often repeated, incite hostility, harm society and have nothing to do with journalism.
We, members of the Media Movement, consider the sanctions against the owner of the so-called "Medvedchuk's television channels" to be an adequate step in the fight against disinformation. At the same time, we urge the authorities to strictly adhere to all corresponding international regulations and legal procedures and to provide the public with comprehensive arguments that confirm the proportionality, legality and balance between security and protection of freedom of speech necessary in democratic countries. We warn the authorities against abusing the sanctions mechanism, and call for extraordinary caution in imposing sanctions when it comes to the media. All suspicions or accusations must be thoroughly substantiated, but the lack of argumentation can discredit the government's efforts to combat disinformation.
It hurt us – journalists and media organizations – to watch employees of television channels “112 Ukraine”, “ZIK” and “NewsOne” disrespecting themselves and their audience by spreading prejudices and even lies for years.
The results of the monitoring of pro-Russian propaganda showed that these three channels are responsible for more than half of the cases of dissemination of Kremlin disinformation messages in the Ukrainian media space. The National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting has applied legal sanctions to these TV channels almost 40 times (warnings, fines, lawsuits to revoke licenses, etc.).
The mission of journalism is to bring the truth to society. Top managers, journalists and presenters of these TV channels manipulated, shamelessly exaggerated and lied to please pro-Russian owners of information resources. It was because of the activities of these “pseudo-journalistic faces” that the credibility of the journalistic profession was dealt a serious blow.
At the same time, we oppose the creation of any "blacklists" with the names of employees of the channels that have come under sanctions. Calls for violence from either side must be answered immediately by law enforcement.
We urge ordinary employees of these three channels, who did not directly participate in the manipulations and do not share the views of pro-Russian owners, to fight for their labor rights, dignity and independence. We also urge the Ukrainian media not to limit the employment opportunities of former ordinary employees of these channels, who did not share the views of the owners of the channels and are ready to sign the Code of Journalistic Ethics and adhere to it.
We remind you of the respectable examples of ZIK television channel journalists (until the summer of 2019), Forbes, TVi, Korrespondent and others, who once resigned en masse in protest against censorship. All of them continue to successfully realize themselves in the profession.
We call on all journalists: do not put at risk your reputation, do not work for propaganda resources and always adhere to professional ethics and standards. At the same time, we urge television channel owners to solve problems in a legal way, not to destabilize the situation in the country.
The Media Movement "Media for a Conscious Choice" was created on February 5, 2019. The first signatories to the Media Movement's memorandum were UA:Pershyi, Ukrainian Radio, Hromadske Radio, Ukrinform information agency, Interfax-Ukraine information agency, Liga.net, Dzerkalo Tyzhnya. Ukraine, NV, Censor.Net, Channel 5, The Ukrainian Week, Opinion, a number of regional media, NGOs – Detector Media, Independent Media Council, Institute of Mass Information, Internews Ukraine, Center for Democracy and Rule of Law, Souspilnist Foundation, the National Association of Media, the Donetsk Institute of Information, the Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy, the ZMINA Human Rights Center and other organizations, individual journalists - over 70 participants in total. You can join or support the Media Movement by contacting its Coordinator Vadym Miskyi: firstname.lastname@example.org.