This blog began by drawing on a series of my facebook posts. On Thu 21 November/ Fri 22 November, I feared that this potential revolution would not be televised. My fears were based on observation of Ukrainian television, where even the once oppositional TVi had become meek following a forced takeover (in which British “shell companies” and the government that sponsors such a model of corporate ir/responsibility play a great role).
However, it has become clear that local stations based in Western Ukraine: http://zik.ua/, http://24tv.ua/ – are active in covering the protests.
Meanwhile, http://5.ua/ – the station owned by the oligarch Petro Poroshenko has again taken up its role as the chief source of information, like it did in the Orange Revolution. Indeed, Poroshenko – following a recent, costly run-in with Russia over importing his confectionery – has become one of the leading figures of the public opposition to the current government during these protests.
Noticeable in the coverage is the use of non-professional camera operators alongside embedded reporters – sometimes doubling up on the role – who are broadcasting live using internet connections to television stations, including the new venture http://hromadske.tv/. This Citizens’ TV is now being broadcast live on Lviv’s ZIK station.
Mustafa Nayyem is one of the chief figures associated with Citizens’ TV and is now on the front line of protests, as citizens are face to face with the Berkut riot police outside the presidential offices.
This video here shows, meanwhile, the Pershyj channel, State TV no. 1, where all day songs have been broadcast alongside tributes to Soviet-era music stars.
Meanwhile, on Friday night, the famous Lithuanian-Jewish talkshow host Savik Shuster, who has been broadcasting in Ukraine since the Orange Revolution, threatened that that evening’s show would be the last on Inter, owned by oligarch and ex-security-service head Valeriy Ivanovych Khoroshkovsky. His live show started an hour late after Party of Regions representatives sought to prevent opposition leaders appearing live. After an hour of a Russian soap, Shuster forced his show on air and – though evidently shaken (http://3s.tv/) –
managed to lead some of the most compelling television I have witness for three hours.
Eventually he shed his highly professional sheen of objectivity and told the Party of Regions representatives, who had accused Shuster of manipulating reality, that they “wanted to return to the USSR”.
As with the population at large, these protests have taken away from the media a certain fear and a number of stations, as well as of course social media and online news portals, are reporting what they can and generating a pluralism of opinions.

State Television Coverage of the protests and censorship

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