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Friedensförderung durch Brücken der Verständigung
Peace Building through Bridges of Communication

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISTS' NETWORK IJNet - Issue #282
November 8, 2004

 INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISTS BACK EMBATTLED COLLEAGUES IN UKRAINE

The world's largest journalists' organization is praising hundreds of Ukrainian TV journalists who are protesting censorship amid tense presidential elections.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is urging newspeople worldwide to send messages of support to the journalists, who say they have been harassed by managers for not supporting pro-government coverage.

IFJ observers in Kiev report that TV news coverage improved dramatically after October 30, when many journalists announced their call for independence at a news conference.

The protests have taken various forms. The staff of independent Channel 5 - one of the few stations that had been willing to give airtime to the opposition - went on a weeklong hunger strike. At least 181 journalists from 18 stations declared they would adhere to professional ethics, refusing to ignore the opposition. And on October 31, journalists from six of the largest stations promised to picket any station that fires its journalists and protest whenever major events go unreported.

"Our colleagues stand tall despite life-threatening pressures from management and their political masters," IFJ general secretary Aidan White said in a November 1 release. "Journalists are showing great courage to defend their rights. We support them every step of the way."

The protests are taking place amid nationwide electoral anxiety. In the November 1 presidential vote, both Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich and top challenger Viktor Yushchenko received about 40 percent of the vote. Without a majority for either candidate, the country is preparing for a runoff election November 21. Yanukovich favors a strong state and closer ties with Russia, while opposition candidate Yushchenko is an economic liberal who leans toward better relations with the West.

 

source: IJNet 282
published by: Daniela Mathis dma@medienhilfe.ch date of release on this site 10/11/04 

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