More than 20 international media groups have heeded calls from Ukrainian news organizations to turn off Russian news channels.
A spokeswoman for Ukrainian media group 1+1 Media told Deadline that providers in Poland, Australia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Canada, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria and Germany are no longer broadcasting “propagandistic TV channels” including RT, NTV, RTR and 1 Channel.
The channels are being replaced in some instances by United News, a 24-hour newscast collaboration between Ukraine’s four major TV groups, 1+1, StarLightMedia, MG Ukraine and Inter Media Group. United News is backed by a number of Ukrainian government departments and the armed forces.
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Each broadcaster is taking it in turns to produce United News so that it doesn’t fall off air and the show is targeted at “promptly providing comprehensive information from different regions of the country.”
The move comes after the quartet of Ukraine Media organizations called on the world to impose “media sanctions” on Russia over the weekend and the EU and YouTube yesterday announced it would ban Russian state-backed channels RT and Sputnik across Europe. In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered the regulator to investigate RT.
“Russia was not ready to face such resistance of Ukrainian people,” said the 1+1 spokeswoman.
“The media community also repulses the enemy greatly. Today we ask all conscious citizens to judge Russian aggression and ban propagandistic content about this country.”
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1+1 has also kickstarted a “digital flash mob” and is calling on social media users to use the hastag #TurnOffRussia when discussing the conflict, which has moved into its fifth day.
When the conflict started in earnest Thursday, some Ukrainian channels were still showing entertainment programs but Deadline reported late last week on a pivot to back-to-back news, with commercial advertising turned off. Ukrainian news bosses have reported through-the-roof TV news ratings in recent weeks and all media groups have enacted contingency plans in order to keep broadcasting.
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