Zelensky signs controversial law to increase governmental control of Ukrainian media

Tuesday, January 3, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , ,

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Overriding strong objections from press freedom organizations, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday signed controversial legislation granting the government increased regulatory power over Ukrainian journalism and media groups, the Hill reports. Zelensky has wanted to strengthen governmental control of the Ukrainian media since he came to office in 2019.

Passed by Ukraine’s parliament on December 13, the new law provides that the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council, which is made up of members appointed by the president’s administration and by members of parliament, can essentially shut down unregistered news sites, the Hill said.

Criticizing the bill’s draft version released last month, Ukraine’s National Union of Journalists of Ukraine said in a statement: “Such powers are clearly excessive. No one has yet managed to tame freedom of speech in Ukraine. It won’t work this time either.”

International media organizations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), also criticized the new law, the Hill reports.

Noting that the Ukrainian legislation contradicts European freedom of press standards, Ricardo Gutiérrez, general secretary of the EFJ, told The New York Times: “Ukraine will demonstrate its European commitment by promoting a free and independent media, not by establishing state control of information.”

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