UA Suspilne TV journalist Myroslava Barchuk vents out her frustrations over mounting pressure from Zelensky’s officials on public broadcaster journalists.
In her statement on Facebook, she claimed UA Suspilne ‘Zvorotniy zvyazok’ TV show producers were confronted by Zelensky officials with ‘ultimatums’ over choice of tv show guests and speakers.
On two occasions tv show producers were demanded to invite ‘Servant of the People’ MPs and drop off the guests’ list the independent MP who earlier squabbled with Zelensky administration, said Barchuk, countering complaints of Zelensky administration that the TV show ‘failed to keep journalistic standards’.
She blasted ‘pressure and blackmail’ from Andriy Yermak ‘errand boys’ that come as a new ‘threat to freedom of speech and independent journalism’ in Ukraine.
‘I clearly remember how the whole thing started in 2010 when Hanna German (Yanukovych communiciations advisor) picked guests for tv channels, and later tv hosts as well, which eventually led to recall of broadcasting licenses of opposition TV channels, and ended up in a disaster’.
Myroslava Barchuk’s online accusations had the prompt backing from her TV show co-host Pavlo Kazarin who called out former “Ukrayinska Pravda’ journalist Serhiy Leshchenko over his attempts to cushion Zelensky officials from the fallout.
‘Serhiy [Leshchenko] made a video blaming ‘Zvorotniy Zvyazok’ TV show for not inviting representatives of the parliamentary majority. Serhiy lied. We did invite ‘Servant of the People’ MPs but they tried to force on us their stoplist [of TV show guests and speakers]. We perceived it as pressure’, wrote the journalist on Facebook Tuesday.
Kazarin obviously referred to the latest video of Serhiy Leschenko in which the former ‘Ukrayinska Pravda’ journalist said he was ‘disappointed’ the TV show failed to deliver ‘balance of views’ because ‘in the [TV] studio there was no one from the government, from the ‘Servant of the People’.