Oleksiy Matsuka told “Donbas Public TV” journalist in “Donbas Dialogue” programme about the way mass media can resist the “DPR” faction. After militants had seized Donetsk it beecame difficult to be an independent journalist in the city. This is why only the so-called “republican mass media” work there now and absolutely all materials are censored. It is impossible to speak about at least some freedom of speech on the occupied territory.
“All Ukrainian mass media of our city closed with the beginning of the so-called “Russian spring”. There used to be fifteen newspapers and ten TV channels and now there is nothing. Today, there is not a single independent newspaper or TV channel in Donetsk. More than that, all regional TV channels whcih are not controlled by Putin or Zakharchenko are being destroyed, they are not given a frequency to broadcast. It is dangerous to be there today, there is censorship, there are people who read all the content closely. If they do not like something they just oust these mass media as it happened, for example, to Vice News after the interview with Zakharchenko”, says Oleksiy Matsuka, a journalist.
Besides introducing censorship, militants also blocked access to independent sites and TV channels which broadcast from Ukrainian territory. Donetsk residents have to use special programmes to get unbiased data and to avoid militants' propaganda. The journalist thinks that the “DPR” faction is just afraid of the power which independent journalist has and which can topple the illegitimate militants' propaganda.
“One of the fundamental rights of a person is access to information. The “DPR” faction is violating this right in Donetsk today as they blocked the TV channels and sites which had covered events in the region for ten years. They are going to form their own reality in this way where they would easily determine the way they inform people about what is going on around. Everyone understands really well that if any kind of independent mass media appears there it will publish a lot of information and everybody will find out who Zakharchenko, his wife, Pushylin and other “DPR leaders” really are. Of course, the “DPR” does not want it. Ukraine does not want people to know all the truth about its leaders as well, but here, at least, we are not prosecuted for finding the governor's mansion or telling people how much money he has. It is impossible on the occupied territory, people have no rights, they are slaves of the Kremlin and Zakharchenko together with such clowns as Purgin and Pushylin are its puppets”, continue Oleksiy.
Journalists created independent Public TV in Slovyansk to give people information not propaganda. “We moved here in winter 2014, before that it had been the Party of Regions office. It is really very symbolic and symptomatic that the NGO “Donetsk Institute of Information” is now situated here as we had been the ones who had followed the criminal activity of the Party of Regions for ten years”, says Oleksiy Matsuka.
In the journalist's opinion, independent mass media are the main condition which can help society to control authorities and this is the factor which could help topple militants' “power” on the occupied territory.
“Even if there is autonomy there, the only conditoon we have is a possibility for independent journalists to open their office there, to be able to work there as an independent source for gathering and spreading information. We want to have the right to work there and to be guaranteed security. Militants do not want this as they are only competitive when they are armed. Thie rule makes ordinary people suffer”, explains the head of the “Donetsk Institute of Information.”
Maryna Brahyna, a social psychologist, explained that there are a lot of tricks used by unfair mass madia.
“For example, there used to be billboards with some phrases which then became working ones. Those phrases which were later used as triggers, were in mass media and in politics. (like the one used by separatists “Donbas feeds all Ukraine”). These are all rules of crowd psychology. If people hear and see these short phrases from time to time for several years, they start perceiving them as their own thoughts. Then one should just pull the trigger to activate these mechanisms”, says Maryna Brahyna.
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