Former head of state news agency accused of censorship attempts

Oleksiy Matsuka
Oleksiy Matsuka

Former head of state news agency Ukrinform, Oleksiy Matsuka, was attempting to exert undue influence over the agency’s news coverage, head of Ukrinform's Regional Correspondents Directorate Olga Korostylyova said on May 31.

In a comment to public broadcaster Suspilne, Korostylyova stated that the editorial team perceived these "directives" as censorship and disregarded them.

When asked who specifically gave the directives, Korostylyova stated that it was coming from Ukrinform’s head office.

"The [agency’s] administration, the director,” she said.

“It may have been his [Matsuka's] initiative. I don't know; let law enforcement authorities investigate. The tables [with directives] were forwarded from him.”

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For some Ukrainian regions where Ukrinform correspondents were stationed, these tables included a list of “undesirable speakers,” whom the journalists were advised against approaching for comment on a given subject.

“We reacted very negatively to these instructions; we considered them censorship and responded accordingly,” Korostylyova said.

The editorial board's decision that Ukrinform recognizes no “undesirable speakers or topics” was then communicated to the correspondents.

"We cover everything based on facts: if there is an event, we write about it; and that's what we did," Korostylyova concluded.

Matsuka was dismissed on May 24, after media reports said he circulated a list of public figures who were not to be approached for comments on a wide variety of current affairs topics.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine