MinCulture to set organization to decide who is journalist and who is not

Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Ukraine Anatoly Maksimchuk. Photo: YouTube

A state-funded organization will also monitor ethical standards for journalists and grant a news credibility index.

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Ukraine plans to create a self-governing organization of journalists, which will partially monitor the implementation of the new media law being developed by the Government. This was announced during a special press conference by the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Ukraine Anatoly Maksimchuk.

The new organization is to confirm or grant journalist status or terminate this status, Maksimchuk noted. He explained that the mandatory condition for granting or confirming the status of a journalist would be in compliance with the Code of Ethics of the Ukrainian journalist.

The structure created by the Ministry will grant a news confidence index according to the criteria that the new organization will develop, as well as develop and monitor the observance of ethical standards of journalistic activity and ensure compliance with guarantees for the activities of a journalist.

It is noteworthy that the new organization "is fully or partially financed by the state."

“That is, it is a state-dependent body,” noted the online edition “Strana.ua” the presentation of Minister Borodiansky’s Deputy.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Vladimir Borodiansky commented on Facebook the negative reaction of the journalists to the innovations and explained that the introduction of all these innovations is “very important in the context of the information war with the Russian Federation and the possible financing of some media by the aggressor country”.

According to him, the reforms will become "part of the proper informing of citizens and the realization of their right to information". Borodiansky noted that the wording about the “requirements and standards of news” in the Decree of the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky No. 837/2019 “On urgent measures to reform and strengthen the state” that disturbed journalists is only a terminological misunderstanding.

“Dear journalists! You were rightly worried and outraged by the presence in the Presidential Decree of words about the establishment of ‘requirements and standards of news’. This is a terminological misunderstanding that arose due to the false use of the term ‘news standards’ in the MCYS documents. We did not and do not intend to regulate news standards. This is the exclusive right of the professional community,” said the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.

We recall that in his Decree, the President ordered the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Ukraine to draft a bill to regulate media activities in Ukraine with provisions regarding “requirements and standards of news, mechanisms to prevent the dissemination of inaccurate, distorted information, its refutation, and prohibition of physical and legal persons of the aggressor state own or finance media in Ukraine, as well as provide for increased liability for violation of information laws.”

Earlier, Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov, a deputy from the “People’s Front” Anton Gerashchenko tried to incite the SBU and “Mirotvorets” against the UOJ. He related the launching of the site to the organization of the first All-Ukrainian Cross Procession. “I think that it makes sense to observe the work of this public organization to specialists from the SBU and the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine. The “Mirotvorets” project has already included this organization in a plan to closely study its role in an attempt to incite sectarian strife in Ukraine,” Gerashchenko said then.

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