Politics 2022-05-15T04:46:36+03:00
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Freedom Of Expression Council Asks Zelenskyy To Cancel Title Of Honored Journalist, NUJU Opposes

Freedom Of Expression Council Asks Zelenskyy To Cancel Title Of Honored Journalist, NUJU Opposes

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President, NUJU, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Council for Freedom of Expression and Protection of Journalists, title, Honored Journalist of Ukraine

The Council for Freedom of Expression and Protection of Journalists asks President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to cancel the title of Honored Journalist of Ukraine, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) opposes.

The chairperson of the NUJU Serhii Tomilenko wrote about this on Facebook, Ukrainian News Agency reports.

The call to cancel this title came on the eve of the Day of the Journalist - June 6.

"The majority of public figures and media representatives in the Council on Freedom of Expression under the President of Ukraine appealed to Volodymyr Zelenskyy with an appeal to cancel the title Honored Journalist of Ukraine. In particular, the President is recommended to stop the practice of conferring honorary titles on journalists and initiate appropriate amendments to the Law on State awards. The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine condemns such an initiative, which, according to the chairperson of the NUJU, Serhii Tomilenko, is aimed exclusively at weakening the role of journalists in society and is disdainful for hundreds of authoritative media representatives who received honorary titles both in the years of independence and during the cadence of Volodymyr Zelenskyy," he wrote.

It is noted that eight members of the Council on Freedom of Expression and Protection of Journalists under the President of Ukraine, during a meeting on June 1 at the Office of the President, supported the decision to recommend Zelenskyy "to stop the practice of conferring the honorary title Honored Journalist of Ukraine.”

They are convinced that the need for awarding journalists by the authorities "disappears", and the honorary title itself was inherited "as an element of the Soviet Union's award system."

The corresponding draft decision of the council was initiated by Maksym Krechetov, a former employee of the Studio 1+1, and now a member of the supervisory council of the Public Broadcasting (representing the parliamentary faction of the Servant of the People party).

Tomilenko is sure that the intention to abolish the titles only for journalists, despite the fact that the legislation provides for more than 40 honorary titles, is unfair and aimed at leveling the profession and devaluing the contribution of journalists to building the state.

He stressed that the title of honor is of particular importance for media workers in the regions.

“A journalist is an important and worthy profession. The title of honor should be viewed not as a private right of the President to encourage loyal journalists, but as the duty of the state to celebrate citizens for services to Ukraine. I agree that among the capital's journalists who have a “residence permit” on Bankova or Hrushevskoho Streets, the title "Honored" is not fully appreciated. But for workers of regional media, the state award is evidence of the importance of the profession, long-term contribution to the development of the information space of Ukraine," Tomilenko convinced.

The NUJU believes that it is fair to talk about reforming the entire system of state awards, and not depriving only journalists of the right to an honorary title.

At the same time, the Council for Freedom of Expression and Protection of Journalists under the President should not fight against titles, but focus on solving the most pressing problems of freedom of speech and protecting the rights of journalists, especially since Zelenskyy has already awarded the title of Honored Journalist of Ukraine at least nine media workers.

In addition to Krechetov, another seven council members supported the call to cancel the state award for journalists.

The boards of the Zaporizhia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Rivne, Lviv, Kirovohrad, Kherson and Kyiv unions of journalists also addressed in writing to the members of the Council on Freedom of Expression with a protest against the cancellation of the title of Honored Journalist of Ukraine.

"There are questions about the nomination procedure ... Perhaps it is worth revising the criteria for nominating for a high award: to limit the maximum number of assignments per year, to settle vague ideas, to refuse additional payments. And the most important question: why is it necessary to cancel the title now? Aren't journalists risking their lives in fulfilling their professional and civic duties? Do they not have the right, like representatives of other professions, to recognize special services to the Ukrainian people?" said in the appeal of the board of the capital’s organization of the NUJU.

As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine called for the bill on media (No. 2693d) to be removed from consideration in the Verkhovna Rada and sent to the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission).



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