Independence of public media under threat in Ukraine
The global community of media and entertainment unions affiliated to UNI Global Union joins their colleagues of the Cultural Workers Union of Ukraine and calls on the Ukrainian government to amend the Law on the Budget of Ukraine 2018 so as to ensure that the full amount of funding is provided for the public broadcaster UA:PBC, and to commit to a sustainable development of public service media in the coming years.
UNI MEI Global Union and all its affiliates express their concern over the government’s intention to provide only for 50% of the authorised funding to UA:PBC in 2018. Ukrainian legislation provides for 0,2% of state budget expenditure and is lower than funding of many other European countries, which cover a smaller population and geographical area.
This massive underfunding of public service broadcasting threatens, in the short term, the jobs of up to 4000 broadcasting workers across the country out of a total staff of approximately 7000 employees across Ukraine. In the medium term, the slashing of funding and jobs will undermine the independence, quality and diversity of public service broadcasting.
Quality and independent information of citizens is the basis of our democratic societies. Independent public service media is a pillar for guaranteeing the quality and independence of information.
We urge the Ukrainian government to pursue the implementation of the reform and to cherish the democratic, societal and cultural functions of public servicing broadcasting, which contribute to sustaining an open, diverse and inclusive society.