Ukraine Establishes a Watchdog on Journalists’ Rights Protection

By Worldwide News Ukraine, PRNE
Monday, July 11, 2011

KYIV, Ukraine, July 12, 2011 -


In response to the increasing interest of international
community on the status of Ukrainian press freedom, the government
established the Working Group on Journalists
Protection. The Group
s mission is to analyze cases
of violations of the freedom of speech legislation in a timely
manner and make suggestions to the President on how to resolve the

The Group (Interoffice Working Group on Analysis of the
Observation of the Freedom of Speech and Journalists’ Rights
Protection Legislation) consists of 11 members, who represent
professionals in media and public sectors - Ukrainian journalists
(including Reporters Without Borders), General Prosecutor’s
Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the President’s

The creation of the group was initiated by the President of
Ukraine Victor Yanukovych in order to monitor and report on the
government-media relations and to find viable solutions to the
issues that the journalists are facing while performing their job
in Ukraine.

The first meeting of the Group took place on July 7. Following
the meeting the Group chair Daria Chepak, who is also the press
secretary to the President of Ukraine, said: “The Group will work
transparently. Its work will be another step in the Open
Program that aims at holding an honest and open
discussion of the problems that the journalists are facing while
doing their job in Ukraine.”

The Open Conversation Program, according to Daria Chepak,
is a new government program meant to improve communication between
the state bodies and the journalists.

Earlier this year the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych
signed the Law on Access to Public Information, adopted by the
Ukrainian parliament in January 2011.

The Law guarantees access to public information with regards to
human rights and press freedom. The law identifies what data is
confidential and provides that all information produced by the
public bodies, excluding the confidential data, should be released
to citizens within 5 to 30 days. The Law also regulates the issue
of protection of journalists.

Following the introduction of the law, journalists from
nation-wide and regional publications have already written a number
of articles based on the newly released information related to
public funds expenditures, public property use, as well as revenues
and priviliges of the key public servants.

For more information, contact Maria Ivanova +380443324784 news at, Project Manager at Worldwide News Ukraine

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