We continue producing two hours of video content daily and all the material goes to Donetsk Regional State Television and Radio Company or, as it is now called, Donetsk Regional Department of National Television Company of Ukraine. There you can watch our programmes between films. However, if you are in Donetsk, you should first get a powerful antenna, adjust it to the signal broadcast from Volnovakha or Krasnoamiysk and study the TV programme. It is much easier to subscribe to our YouTube channel and get updates with “Donbas Public TV” videos by mail — there is no censorship which will be able to prevent this.
It has been nearly two years since we began producing news about Donetsk and for its residents without being in the city physically. As for the Donbas, this is not the first time when video programmes about Donetsk are produced elsewhere. One can remember “SKET” channel (“Studio of Kramatorsk Broadcasting TV”), its programmes used to be extremely popular among Donetsk residents in the 90s. This popularity was gained by broadcasting pirated video, though, no one thought about it then.
Can we repeat “SKET” success story being in Kramatorsk? Can we increase the number of viewers if we get a frequency and access to the city? And, of course, if we broadcast quality product. The answer is, we will never be able to do this if we continue working in TV style which was adopted by Donetsk channels before the war. Then, where can we get quality product without copyright infringement?
A lot is said about Western coalition of partners of Ukraine and there are Western countries that produce quality entertainment, social and political content.
We do not need tanks and guns, we need copyright for TV production and Russian translation. We need standards and trained journalists.
Kramatorsk TV is the only TV company in Ukraine which could have exclusive rights to broadcast a unique set of programmes which would be interesting for the occupied territories. This would make people buy an antenna and find the signal. It is clear that occupational “authorities” will never let us into the cabel network (which comprises 90% of the content). It is clear that those who have satellite antennae will not watch “DoTV” (Donetsk regional TV) only to demonstrate their solidarity with the liberated part of the Donetsk region. By the way, Mariupol or Kramatorsk residents should not have any problems with getting the regional TV signal at all, but they still do.
Still, how close is the content produced by Ukrainian channels to the residents of occupied territories? The answer is, it is extremely far from what really interests and worries them! Recently, I have been to the 5th Channel live analytical programme and asked the hostess why the channel did not produce any programme about the Donbas though the journalists claim their signal can get through to the occupied territories. The answer was: “We have a programme about the war”. But the Donbas does not equal the war, the armed formations which roam Donetsk do not equal its residents in the majority of cases.
Another conversation which happened last week was weird as well. A journalist from one of Ukrainian channels was making a video report about my colleague’s investingation and asked him at the end if he was sponsored by Akhmetov. This means, everyhting that is connected with the Donbas, belongs in people’s minds to one of two extremeties: either the war or Akhmetov.
Let us be realistic. It is impossible to exclude Akhmetov’s influence on the Donbas. His influence manifests itself in different forms.
What interests me is the question: Why can’t Akhmetov act like Soros? Can you imagine an investigation into corruption cases in “SCM” (Ukrainian company which belongs to Akhmetov) conducted within the framework of a Programme in support of independent journalists organized by Renat Akhmetov Fund? Pretty dreamlike, isn’t it? Can you imagine a single “Ukraine is speaking about it” programme (TV programme which is on on Akhmetov’s channel) which is devoted to investingating into the oligarch’s business activity? Any of these ideas seems absolutely unreal.
Once again. Let’s be realistic. We should find a way to live with tycoons. Serhiy Leschenko, a jurnalist, does a lot to facilitate this process. For example, he lobbied a law on financilng political parties, investigated into and found schemes which allow oligarchs continue running the country and society.
As for our region, we could suggest that tycoons Akhmetov and Taruta should sit at one table with public organizations and to have only one vote without any possibility to bribe NGOs and mass media in order to create the only possible reality which is then broadcast on their channels and promoted by their “public” activists.
Oleksiy Matsuka, Chairperson of NGO “Donetsk Institute of Information”. Link to his Facebook. This is a part of his report, the full text is available on the site of the organization.
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