RSF calls on Ukraine to scrap United News telethon


International nonprofit organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on the Ukrainian government to shut down the United News telethon, which it contends has lost public trust and relevance two years into the war, RSF said in a statement on Feb. 6.

The organization stated that Ukraine should diversify its broadcasting to "strengthen media pluralism."

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The head of RSF's Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk, Jeanne Cavelier, noted that the telethon has become outdated, and Ukrainian TV channels are now capable of combating Russian propaganda independently while maintaining editorial independence.

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“We therefore call on the Ukrainian government to end the United News Telemarathon; Increasing financial support for public and independent media is now the priority,” the message quotes Cavelier.

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RSF also notes that the telethon has lost 90% of its audience since February 2022, while the current budget has UAH 1.5 billion ($40 million) earmarked for its funding in 2024.

Finally, the organization said that Ukraine ranks only 79th out of 180 countries in the 2023 RSF World Press Freedom Index.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine