Ukraine Political Orientation
Government Type: Parliamentary-presidential system
Head of State: The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy (May 20, 2019, was sworn-in as the President of Ukraine)
Head of Government: Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal
Political Party: Servant of the People (Big Tent Party-Populist-Pro-Europeanism)
Political Position: Independent
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 55.96 – Moderate Freedom
World Press Freedom Rank: Ukraine 79/180
According to Reporters without Borders, although there were reforms regarding media ownership transparency “The war launched by Russia on 24 February 2022 threatens the survival of the Ukrainian media.” The report indicates, “Much more is needed to loosen the oligarchs’ tight grip on the media, encourage editorial independence, and combat impunity for crimes of violence against journalists.”
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
In Ukraine, most of the press and the broadcasting sector are either directly state-owned or privately owned by corporations. When it comes to transparency, particularly pertaining to media, oligarchs control media ownership. For example, businessman Valery Khoroshkovsky served under different presidents as head of the Security Service, Deputy Prime Minister, and Finance Minister. During his time in office, he held over 60 percent of Ukraine’s top TV channel (Inter Media Group) and other commercial stations. In 2013, he sold the Inter Media Group to another Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtas. For more on Inter Media Group, see here.
Another example is Businessman Igor Kolomoisky, who owns 1+1 Media Group, the largest media conglomerate in Ukraine. 1+1 Media Group includes numerous Ukrainian TV channels as well as online news platforms. He was also one of the owners of PrivatBank before it was nationalized due to fraud. He is also involved in banking, retail, energy, metallurgy, and aviation. Businessman Igor Kolomoisky is known to have ties with former Comedian and current President Zelensky. These oligarchs’ businesses are not just limited to media as they also own companies in other industries as well.
The National Сouncil of Television and Radio Broadcasting is responsible for licensing media outlets. The President and the Parliament appoint its members. In Ukraine, TV dominates media, with Inter TV and 1+1 being the most influential and popular TV networks. Print media is mostly privately owned, such as Segodnya Multimedia Publishing Group, owned by System Capital Management, or SCM, owned by businessman Rinat Akhmetov. Printed media, in general, is published in Russian.
In May 2021, new legislation took effect, requiring “TV and film distribution firms to ensure 90 percent of their content is in Ukrainian and for the proportion of Ukrainian-language printed media and books to be at least 50 percent.”
Despite the implementation of reforms, the media landscape is closely associated with powerful oligarchs actively involved in politics. Although online media is gaining popularity, TV is still the primary source of information in Ukraine. Most of the TV networks are owned directly or indirectly by these powerful business Oligarchs. They use media to promote the politicians they support, and in return, politicians favor them with their other business investments. The fact that communication is dominated by a media owned by the country’s wealthiest and most powerful people significantly limits political pluralism and the chances for lesser-known politicians to be heard.
|Top 5 Ukraine Media Sources by Web Rank|
Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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