A statement of the Business Ombudsman regarding the appeal of Espreso, Pryamyi and Channel 5 on the helpline

The Business Ombudsman Council has already been working for the third month on appeals from  “ESPRESSO”, “PRIAMYI” and “5 KANAL” TV channels regarding termination of their broadcasting in T2 multi-channel digital TV network. In order to resolve this issue (taking into account the martial  law and current information security priority), the Council chose the path of written appeals to state bodies responsible for information policy, namely to the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine and the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine.
Both institutions responded that they did not make decisions to stop broadcasting of these TV channels on T2 network. Meanwhile, the National Council, mentioning the Resolution of the National Security and Defence Council “On Implementation of a Unified Information Policy Under Martial Law” dated March 18, 2022, in fact confirmed the existence of a “legal vacuum” in terms of the lack of criteria for television and radio organizations if these criteria are met a “United News #UArazom” 24-hour telethon should be streamed on their certain over-the-air broadcasting platforms and how, in such a case, these entities can join the telethon production on a parity basis. In the National Council’s view, these circumstances should be eliminated “by the respective and authorized entities, which should either properly amend the laws of Ukraine, or clearly define and duly transfer the necessary powers to the regulator in accordance with current legislation.”
The Business Ombudsman Roman Waschuk commented in this regard: “Implementing a unified information policy in wartime is a conceptually correct step. However, it is important not only to implement the right ideas, but also to translate them into action properly. That is why, among other things, we recently sent a letter to the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to contribute to filling the gaps and finally legislate the basic principles of the 24-hour information marathon functioning, including the development of uniform criteria for television and radio broadcasting entities obliged to broadcast a 24-hour information marathon in compliance with the Decision of the National Defence and Security Council and the procedure for joining telethon participants. We remain hopeful that an out-of-court settlement of this situation is still possible.”

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