Public Broadcasting in Ukraine: Problems of Functioning of Regional Directorates

: 35-39
Lviv Polytechnic National University
Lviv Polytechnic National University

Most have been given the name of the area or region broadcasting with the UA: prefix. Each directorate has at least one television and radio channel. Regional public television and radio workers are usually local specialists, journalists who are left behind after the staffing in the process of reforming state regional broadcasters in the NSTU branch. These television and radio companies are subject exclusively to NSTU and are state-owned entities.

The first paragraph of the Law of Ukraine “On Public Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine” states that the NSTU was created to meet the information needs of the society, involve citizens in discussing and addressing the most important socio-political issues, ensuring national dialogue, and facilitating the formation of civil society.

But how can regional public service broadcasters engage in dialogue when their audience share in the media market is catastrophically low? What is the formation of civil society?

First of all, you need to win your big and high quality audience share. This is not just about information products. For example, the nation-wide public service broadcaster UA: The First launched its New Year’s Day public entertainment broadcast on New Year’s Eve, which, according to statistics, was mostly watched in small cities and towns with fewer than 50,000 people. Festive programming has doubled the performance of the UA: First slot.

Of course, to produce your own, and even more entertaining, territorial-themed product, regional public service broadcasting channels require considerable funds. However, some of the regional public service broadcasters have already adopted the practice, such as UA: Bukovina in the format of an outgoing studio covering the events of the local Meridian Czernowitz festival, which has also steadily increased its ratings among viewers.

The problem of funding was obvious even when the NSTU was created. Public service broadcasting must be completely independent of any public, commercial or private body. Instead, it is the sole responsibility of the Supervisory Board to regulate and review their activities. When, however, the financing, and therefore the functioning of the NSTU, is directly dependent on the state budget and those who approve it, in fact, this mechanism can already be a means of pressure on independent media.

It is the financial problem at NSTU that is now the most acute. Only now, two years later, the NSTU Board appealed to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to amend the Law where the Public Broadcaster of Ukraine would be able to receive funds for functioning from alternative sources of funding.

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