US State Department mentions national telethon in Ukraine human rights violations report
US State Department (Photo: Press Service)

The US State Department has published a report for 2023 that details human rights violations in Ukraine and mentions the national telethon news format.

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"President Zelenskyy signed a decree imposing martial law in February 2022 following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which permitted further restrictions on the media and media freedoms," the document reads.

For example, the national telethon, according to the US State Department, takes the government line in covering the Russo-Ukrainian war.

The document also mentions that "the government banned, blocked, or sanctioned media outlets and individual journalists deemed a threat to national security or who expressed positions authorities believed undermined the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Some media outlets have notably reported suspensions from lucrative terrestrial broadcasting contracts and pressure from the Office of the President as early as spring 2022, the report said.

"Some speakers who were critical of the government were also blacklisted from government-directed news programming. Investigative journalists critical of the government were sometimes targeted by negative social media campaigns, sometimes via government-friendly channels. Other practices continued to affect media freedom, including self-censorship," the conclusion reads.

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If by the end of 2024 the United News telethon does not demonstrate a change in format and restoration of public's trust, it can be shuttered, according to MP Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech.