“I want to give this Oscar to your TV
station as a reward for the rubbish and the lies you report,” the man said,
while Kol tried to push him out of the spot.

Finally, after a small argument, Kol
accepted the Oscar.

The intruder was Vitalii Sediuk, himself a
reporter for local 1+1 channel, and his weird performance was an angry reaction
to the way some Russian media, Rossiya 24 in particular, was portraying protests
in Ukraine. Sediuk says he was angered by the way the “News of the
Week” program on another state-owned Russian channel Rossiya 1 distorted what
was actually happening at ground zero of the protests.

Aired on Dec. 1, the program featured an
eight-minute long live report by the journalist, with no interviews and almost
no additional footage included. The reporter said the situation in Kyiv is pure
“anarchy,” adding that the streets were dangerous, especially for Russians, and
said that the protests seem to be orchestrated by Western countries.


Other reports by Russian media had the
same message. NTV – Russia’s highest rated channel with 13.2 percent audience
share, according to TNS media research – told viewers that “if popular singers
and sportsmen support the protest, it means there is somebody behind it,” referring
to the presence of popular singer Ruslana and boxer-turned-politician
Vitaly Klitschko on the Maidan.

Rossiya 24’s website – whose channel has 1.4
percent audience share, according to TNS media research – focused on violence, with
headlines like “Protesters Crash the Police With Tractor.”

Russian state-owned Perviy Canal (Channel
First) – with 12.5 percent audience share – reported that only “several hundred
people” showed up at the rally on Dec. 8, when there verifiably were hundreds of

A study by the Russian Public Opinion
foundation in March found that 46 percent of Russians name television their favorite pastime. There is an estimated 53 million television
households, according to Presnario International, with an estimated 100 million
TV sets in use. The combined audience of channels Rossiya 1, Rossiya 24, NTV
and Channel First comes to around 43 percent of the whole TV audience in
Russia, according to daily ratings at www.advertology.ru.


Sediuk says that Russian reporters that he
saw in Kyiv don’t use microphones with TV station logos. He recognized the
Rossiya 24 reporter from the small logo on his jacket. When Sediuk left him
alone, Kol said to the audience, “as you see, people on Maidan have sort
of a censorship, they demand that we make only positive reports.”

Protesters around him were heard chanting,

Otar Dovzhenko, a TV analyst and professor
at Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, says the message of Russian media is directed
to the Russian audience only, as the number of people watching Russian TV in
Ukraine is not so big and also, Ukrainians have alternative sources of

“Russian media can’t hide the
protests in Ukraine, so they try to bring them down, make them look
undesirable. Discrediting the protests in Ukraine is very important for the
regime of President Vladimir Putin. The Orange Revolution of 2004 gave strong
inspiration to the opposition in Russia,” said Dovzhenko.


When hinting on the Western inception of
the protest movement, media try to exclude the fact that it was sparked by the
Ukrainians’ annoyance with the government, to not give a certain example to the
audience in Russia, says Dovzhenko.

Sediuk said he accidentally met Kol soon
after their first encounter in a restaurant near the Maidan. Kol gave the Oscar
back. Fortunately for Sediuk, who spent Hr 200 on the statuette and planned to get
a refund from the souvenirs shop.

“When I told him they (Russian journalists)
shouldn’t misrepresent the events in Ukraine, he simply said ‘We have our own
point of view,’” Sediuk says. “But I think that when the reporter twists the
actual events it’s not the issue of the point of view at all.”

Post editor Olga Rudenko can be reached at [email protected]

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