The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has passed in the first reading the draft law of Ukraine ”On Amending Certain Laws of Ukraine on the Language of Audiovisual (Electronic) Mass Media,” according to an UNIAN correspondent.
The relevant decision was supported by 244 MPs out of 338 registered in the session hall. The Opposition Bloc faction did not vote, and only one MP from the Volia Narodu [”Will of the People”] faction supported the decision.
The bill proposes to establish that the share of programs and/or movies in Ukrainian aired by national-level TV and radio broadcasting organizations shall amount to at least 75% during the day in each of the time intervals from 07:00 to 18:00 and from 18:00 to 22:00.
It is also envisaged to establish an obligatory share at the level of 50% for the relevant regional and local broadcasting organizations.
The draft law provides for a mandatory share of news broadcasts in state language, namely no less than 75% of the total duration of all news broadcasts in each of the time intervals from 07:00 to 18:00 and from 18:00 to 22:00.
In addition, the draft law stipulates that movies and programs that are not made by broadcasting organizations and not aired in state language should be subtitled using state language.
According to the document, the program is considered to be aired in state language if all lines of anchors are in state language. At the same time, it is allowed using other languages in reporting from the scene, comments by guests of the shows, etc.
In exceptional cases, according to a written agreement with the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, the shares of broadcasting in the state language take into account programs (series of programs) made in any other languages, which in their content are aimed at preventing and neutralizing real and potential threats to national interests in the field of ensuring freedom of speech and information security.
Сhairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information Policy Viktoria Siumar noted at the parliamentary session that the draft law ”is of a transitional nature,” since there are a number of bills submitted to parliament that should establish that Ukrainian is a primary language in Ukraine.
”And this will regard both the area of culture and the information sector. Therefore, the transitional stage can envisage a number of technological steps that will allow our production studios making Ukrainian media products to get preferences,” she said.
Siumar has also noted that certain TV channels now have a 90% Russian broadcast, although they are called Ukrainian television media.
According to the bill, the Crimean Tatar language is included in the Ukrainian language quota.