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TV broadcasting in the occupied territory of Donbas: the actual situation and challenges. Part 4

TV broadcasting in the occupied territory of Donbas: the actual situation and challenges. Part 4

The Russian aggression in Donbas has set many challenges for Ukraine in the areas where this state has never engaged in, and where it had no experience. One of them is informational aggression which object the Ukraine's population, especially in Donbas, has become.

According to various estimates, the population of the occupied part of the Donetsk region is about 2 to 2.3 million people. As it is evidenced by the results of sociological research conducted by GfK's Ukraine for UCBI / USAID in November-December 2015, 88% of the inhabitants of the region watch TV. The Internet has been playing second fiddle for the inhabitants of Donetsk region: it is used by 51%.

of Defense have some resources for arrangement of broadcasting, however, these agencies do not have experience as a broadcaster. On the one hand, every particular institution does not have its own resources for independent action to restore the broadcasting, and on the other hand, there is no any body that would have the authority to coordinate the actions of various institutions and give them a direct and binding orders.

Please follow the link to read the
1st  part of the story

Please follow the link to read the
2nd part of the story

Please follow the link to read the
3rd part of the story

What to do?

The full restoration of the analog and digital broadcasting in the occupied territory of Donetsk region is possible only under condition of construction of a TV tower similar by its technical capabilities to that which was captured in Donetsk. Concern RRT experts believe that under the optimal financing and designing the construction of such a facility requires at least a year. However, even the restoration of analogue and digital broadcasting to the entire occupied territory is not an ultimate thing. A significant number of the inhabitants of the occupied territory receive TV signals via cable or satellite service operators.

So, the Commission on provision of the stable operation of the national television and radio broadcasting system should focus on the most promising and affordable ways, the most important of which is working on the Internet and especially in Russian social networks Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki that does not require significant capital investments. These networks are the most popular in Ukraine, in particular, in the Donetsk region.

Contrary to that many Ukrainian sites are blocked in the occupied territory, free software helps to make them available. Also it is impossible to block the pages of publications on social networks. The information space in social networks is not blocked by borders and censorship, it is impossible to block a part of the sector.

It is necessary to develop a program financed by means of fellowship grants to support the editorial boards of Internet publications which left the occupied territory. However, there are risks that must be considered in the implementation of such a program: these sites may be used as propaganda voicers what is unacceptable. Particular attention should be paid to stimulating the local editorial boards to receive grants on the basis of maintaining high journalistic standards and quality content.

An alternative to the channels controlled by "DPR" may be the dissemination of information through Internet channels. So, it is necessary to focus on creating user-friendly mobile versions of websites of state agencies working with the category of citizens which remain in the occupied territories. Blocking websites with a mobile traffic is not possible without operator approval.

It is necessary to expand the number of high-quality analytical products in the airtime of the Donetsk Regional Directorate of the National Television Company of Ukraine in the "explanations" style by attracting speakers who are aware of the local issues.

Today we can say that because of the lack of real power and financial resources on ensuring the stable operation of the system of national television and radio broadcasting, the Commission on provision of the stable operation of the national television and radio broadcasting system has not become an effective tool for recovery of broadcasting in the occupied territory. The period from the moment of approval to the real financing of certain projects may take six months that is unacceptable in wartime. First and foremost, an authority which is responsible for the restoration of broadcasting must have the tools and resources for this recovery. The commission members must agree a joint vision of the body which would have to assume full responsibility for the restoration of broadcasting in the occupied areas and to make recommendations on broadening of its powers. It also should eliminate contradictions in connection with the actual duplication of functions of the Ministry of Information Policy, State Committee for Television and Radio broadcasting, and other state bodies in the occupied areas, identify the authority responsible for the restoration of broadcasting in the occupied territory, set deadlines and give the appropriate material resources and powers to such an authority.

New service "Explain Ukraine". This is a daily mailout of five articles which were written about the situation in the Donbas by Donbas journalists and translated into English. Honest vision of people who work in the field is unbiased and fresh which is crucial in the world which is full of desinformation and propaganda. We try to share this vision in out daily mailout.  You can subscribe
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