The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), condemns political pressure and administrative decisions in the Ukrainian region of Kharkov that resulted in taking the independent ATN TV channel off the air.
Established in 1993, the Television Agency News (ATN) from Kharkov has been facing a series of administrative problems that have prevented it from transmitting its programs. This broadcaster critical of the city mayor and regional administrator has been unable to transmit its programs because no provider would accept to do it.
In a public letter addressed to Ukraine’ s president Viktor Yanukovich, 55 journalists wrote that providers were openly asked to abstain from transmitting ATN programs, while others were asked to delay the service as long as possible. ATN has applied to several providers to transmit their programs. Since 14 September 2011, it has been off the air.
“I urge president Yanukovich to help the ATN TV and make it possible for the channel to broadcast again. Media pluralism is important for Ukraine, the country that aspires to join the European Union,” said Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General.