The Law of Ukraine

On the Procedure for Covering Activities of Bodies of State Power and Local Self-Government by Mass Media in Ukraine

Date of Entry into Force:
October 16, 1997

The Law determines the procedure for comprehensive and objective coverage of activities of bodies of state power and local self-government by mass media and for their protection from monopoly impact of different branches of bodies of state power or local self-government. The Law is a component part of Ukraine’s legislation on information.

According to the legislation of Ukraine, Ukrainian mass media shall have the right to cover all aspects of activities of bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power. Bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power shall provide mass media with full information on their activities through the relevant information services of bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power and provide journalists with free access to such information. It shall not be allowed to split or mix the contents of official information that is being publicized with comments of mass media or journalists.

Information on activities of bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power can be obtained by mass media from these bodies directly or through their information services or can be collected by mass media personnel.

Accreditation of journalists and technical personnel of mass media under bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power shall be performed by these bodies by way of their registration on the basis of an official application of mass media to a relevant government body or a local self-government body or on the basis of an application of a journalist or a technical employee upon a presentation of relevant documents that confirm their profession or a recommendation of a professional journalist association.

A body that has accredited a journalist or a technical employee shall inform them in advance about important events, plans and provide organizational support for their fulfillment of professional duties.

The language for distributing information on activities of bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power shall be determined according to the Constitution of Ukraine and the Law of Ukraine “On Languages in Ukraine”. In case of distributing official information in other languages, bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power shall ensure authentic translation from the official state language into the language in which this information is distributed. Mass media shall be prohibited from independent translation of official information from the official state language into any other.

Expenditures to finance mass media for covering activities of bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power shall be specifically allocated in the State Budget of Ukraine and in local budgets. Bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power shall envisage expenditures on covering their activities by mass media in their respective budgets.

The procedure for financing mass media to cover activities of bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power, if these bodies are founders or co-founders of such mass media, shall be determined in agreements between bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power and editorial offices of mass media, as well as in statutes of editorial offices of such mass media. Non-government mass media shall cover activities of bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power on conditions envisages by an agreement concluded between these bodies and editorial offices of such mass media.

The procedure and forms for mandatory coverage of activities of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine through audiovisual mass media (fulfillment of government procurements) shall be specifically determined by a separate resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for each current session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Subjects for mandatory coverage through audiovisual mass media shall be: addresses of the President of Ukraine speaking to the people and annual and non-scheduled addresses to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the internal and external position of Ukraine; participation of the President of Ukraine in official events that are carried out within the country; carrying out of negotiations and conclusion of international agreements of Ukraine to manage foreign economic activity of the country; reports on official visits to other countries and reception of delegations and officials from other countries; participation in plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and sessions of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, in working council involving representatives of bodies of state power of executive power and local self-bodies of state power; decrees and instructions issued by the President of Ukraine; working visits across the country and so on.

A decision on full television and radio broadcasting or expanded television and radio report on sessions of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine or other important government events, which are to be organized by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, shall be made by the Prime-Minister of Ukraine at least one day prior to the time of television and radio broadcasting, except for specific unpredictable emergency situations, when television and radio broadcasting is performed immediately. Information on activities of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, central and local bodies of executive power shall be provided in the form of official accounts, reports, commentaries, and interviews of members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and heads of central and local bodies of executive power, press-conferences, briefings, roundtables, and weekly informational analytical programs.

Coverage of activities of Ukrainian courts of general jurisdiction and the Constitutional Court of Ukraine shall be performed by audiovisual mass media on the basis of agreements concluded between them taking account of specifics of judicial activities.

Upon request of the President of Ukraine, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Prime-Minister of Ukraine, the Head of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, and the Head of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, state information agencies shall provide texts of their special statements and speeches on important issues of government life. Upon request of the President of Ukraine, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Prime-Minister of Ukraine, the Head of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, and the Head of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, the National Television Company of Ukraine and the National Radio Broadcasting Company of Ukraine shall provide them with special air time for special official statements. Expenditures on such measures beyond the allocated time quota shall be financed from the State Budget of Ukraine.

The National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting shall ensure the placement of state procurements for audio- and video-informational products on activities of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Laws of Ukraine, resolutions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and Instructions of the President of Ukraine, resolutions and instruction of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, resolutions of the Supreme Court of Ukraine and the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, decisions of local self-bodies of state power, and other normative and legal acts shall be published in official publications (news, bulletins, information kits, information sheets, etc.) and printed mass media of relevant bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power. Non-government mass media shall have the right to publicize official documents of bodies of state power and local self-bodies of state power according to the legislation of Ukraine and on the basis envisaged by concluded agreements between these bodies and editorial offices of printed mass media.

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