The EBU has expressed “extreme concern” about the future of public service media in Ukraine after broadcasts from EBU Member UA:PBC were terminated.
In a statement, it says that the state-owned Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Television Company of Ukraine cut-off analogue distribution of UA:PBC across the majority of the country due to the broadcaster’s debts.
The EBU adds that it has been leading calls to secure appropriate funding for UA:PBC in line with Ukrainian law and European standards. This year the broadcaster, which already has one of the smallest budgets in Europe, only received around half the budget defined by national law.
It continues by saying that it is It is critical that citizens have access to independent, pluralistic news and information. This is especially important in the run up to next year’s presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine.
Commenting on the situation in Ukraine, EBU DG Noel Curran said: “We are dismayed that the authorities have taken the decision to deprive the Ukrainian people of this important public service.
“We urge the authorities to restore transmissions immediately and allocate the necessary funding to allow public service media to fulfil its critical role to society and to democracy in Ukraine.”