MOSCOW, March 3 (RIA Novosti) – Media chiefs of Russia and Ukraine on Monday exchanged calls for “unbiased coverage” of the crisis in the former Soviet republic.
Western and Ukrainian media have repeatedly accused Russian colleagues of deliberate misinterpretation of facts while covering events in the country. A group of journalists has even set up a website to “refute with facts various types of fake news and misinformation.”
Former boxer and UDAR party leader Vitali Klitschko also recently called for action to counter what he described as Russia's "information offensive" against Ukraine.
Some Ukrainian politicians, including the head of the Ukrainian parliament’s media committee, Mykola Tomenko, have called on cable and satellite TV providers to remove Russian TV channels, which are popular in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east and Crimea, from their services.
In an open letter to their Russian colleagues, quoted by the UNIAN news agency on Monday, heads of four major Ukrainian broadcasting companies - Inter Media Group, Starlight Media, Ukraina Media Group and 1+1 Media - called for “open, balanced and unbiased coverage of present-day events in Ukraine.”
“We urge you to understand and support the stance of all central Ukrainian TV channels and treat every word of yours with responsibility. We all have no right to fuel hostility between the brotherly people of Ukraine and Russia or to air information that lacks proof or distorts reality,” reads the statement, addressed to the heads of Russia’s main broadcasters, Channel One, VGTRK and NTV.
They responded to their Ukrainian colleagues with the same call in a letter that read: “As far as objectiveness and responsibility is concerned, we would like to make the same call to you."
“Let’s be objective and responsible, let’s weigh our words and control our emotions and let’s do it together, not separately as we have been doing of late. By doing this, we will be able to produce an unbiased insight into the reality, which currently is the main task for everyone.”