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Journalists denied access to press conference

(IMI/IFEX) - Reporters from Noviy Kanal channels, the "Gazeta po-kyivsky" daily, "Zhizn gazeta", "Telekrytyka" and "Vsa Pravda"'s online edition were banned from attending the press conference of Vasyl Lazarovych, the singer who will represent Ukraine at the Eurovision-2010 song contest (May 25-29). The journalists for TabloID and Dusya online editions were able to get accreditation under the condition that they would send their articles to be corrected before publication. Another journalist for TET TV channel was banned too. The press conference took place on March 6 and was organized by the National Television Company of Ukraine (NKTU), together with the singer's team.

The TabloID's journalist called the NKTU press service to ask about the reason for this denial. He was told, "We cannot accredit your magazine", without any other explanation. But according to some sources, a list of banned media outlets and journalists had been prepared ahead of the press conference.

Afterwards, the press officer of NKTU said, "We were obliged not to invite or to refuse accreditation to a number of mass media which wanted to attend the song selection and press conference. This was done on the request of Vasyl Lazarovych's director. According to the singer's team, the media had been publishing untruthful information about Vasyl Lazarovych".

According to Ukrainian law, a groundless denial to give access to journalists to the press conference and to exercise one's right to get information is an obstruction to journalistic activity.

NKTU eventually apologized to the journalists, according to Telekrytyka.

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