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Latest Data Shows Ukraine's Opposition Parties Have Lion's Share of News Coverage
PR Newswire KYIV, Ukraine, October 19, 2012
KYIV, Ukraine,October 19, 2012/PRNewswire/ --
The latest data showing the amount of time devoted by Ukraine's state and private television channels to political parties has revealed a 2 to 1 advantage in the amount of news coverage for opposition parties. Statistics released this week by electronic monitors covering the period fromSeptember 24th to October 14threvealed that Ukraine's anti-government opposition parties were covered in 264 news stories compared to 124 for the government and enjoyed a total of 5 hours and 38 minutes of air time, while the government parties had just 3 hours and 25 minutes.
The data, compiled from state and private sector TV channels, is significant because it comes just 10 days ahead of important parliamentary elections in Ukraine. Although there has been criticism of the amount of media access given to opposition parties in the past, the new data appears to confirm government claims that the push toward more media access and freedom is more than just rhetoric.
"What some people do not realise about our country is that we have opposition newspapers, both online and printed, in Ukrainian, English and Russian language that criticise ourgovernment everyday, and the samegoes for radio and TV
stations," said Konstantyn Gryshchenko, the country's Foreign Minister.
"Our politicians are on lively talk shows all the time, and those of us from the government side are frequently grilled," Gryshchenko added.
Just last month, the U.S. advocacy group Freedom House rated the Internet in Ukraine as "free" in a new report, grouping the country in the same category as Germany and the United Kingdom.
The government of President Viktor Yanukovych has been trying in recent months to show its commitment to European values and deeper ties with the European Union by paying heed to Western norms, especially in media.
When the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe last month called upon the government to avoid approving a draft law that would have made libel and defamation into a criminal offense, President Yanukoych responded positively.
Yanukovych told his party he would not support the law that criminalised libel, which was then withdrawn in parliament. "We need to be European in every sphere," the President said.
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