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Thousands protest closure threat against TV2 channel in Tomsk

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 December 2014

Channel is threatened with closure amid claims officials do not like its independent stance.

'Stop destroying us'. Picture: globalsib.ru

A picket by viewers drew more than 4,000 supporters as the temperature stood at around minus 16C, said TV2's director-general Arkadiy Mayofis.

'The mayor's office banned us from holding a rally, this is a picket,' he told Echo of Moscow radio. 'That is to say, one cannot use any kind of loudspeakers. Therefore, people simply holding placards, or without placards, are coming here, standing and having conversations.'

He added: 'Many people are wearing stickers on their chests, or small placards reading 'I support TV2'. As regards larger placards, I can see some reading 'Must not be closed, keep it', 'TV2 is our mind, honour and conscience'.'

Regulator Roskomnadzor had earlier approved TV2 continuing to broadcast until 2025. But now sources at the channel say Roskomnadzor say this was 'a mistake, a computer glitch'.

Mayofis added: 'We have generations of people who were toddlers when we began broadcasting. Stop destroying us - because it it not about crushing a company, is it about destroying a part of the city. We therefore don't beg the Governor for help - we think that he must help us. He and the businessmen we helped, thousands of people of Tomsk whose stories we showed.'

He admitted TV2 needled the authorities  'but this is what media is all about. And if you don't like us for that, at least respect us'.

We are preparing ourselves for receiving some document in which they refuse to renew our licence. We will contest it', said editor in chief Viktor Muchnik.

Channel is threatened with closure amid claims officials do not like its independent stance


Channel is threatened with closure amid claims officials do not like its independent stance


Channel is threatened with closure amid claims officials do not like its independent stance


Channel is threatened with closure amid claims officials do not like its independent stance


Channel is threatened with closure amid claims officials do not like its independent stance


Channel is threatened with closure amid claims officials do not like its independent stance
'We have generations of people who were toddlers when we began broadcasting'. Picture: globalsib.ru, Melanie Bachina


Roskomnadzor spokesman Vadim Ampelonskiy told Interfax that the watchdog did not know about any computer glitch, resulting in TV2 receiving an order for renewing its licence.

'A decision has not yet been taken on renewing the TV company TV2's licence,' he said. 'The issue will be decided at the end of January or the beginning of February'. 

Tomsk mayor Ivan Klein told the channel that 'the participants of the conflict must stop mutual insults and accusations and start negotiations'. 

Regional governor Sergey Zhvachkin said TV2 must solve its problems by using 'legal instruments'. 

Set up 23 years ago following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the station has been told by the Tomsk Regional Transmitting Centre it will not be allowed to broadcast after January. Some 300 jobs are at stake if the channel is forced to close. 

The Russian Union of Journalists reported that they are requesting answers from General Prosecutors' office and Federal Antimonopoly Service on the decision to terminate - unilaterally and without explaining the reasons - the TV2 contract.

Comments (2)

You have landed in very confusing times.
Propaganda is so ill used and so powerfull.
There is an old Chinese wisdom, 'sit by the river and watch the bodies of your ennemies float by'
I whish you strength and all best.
H.Jongenelen, Amsterdam Holland
12/06/2015 14:43
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Great to see people like this standing up to the people who tried to take their independent voice away...(the ones who hide in offices making decisions that are totally against the good of the people) you need an independent voice to ensure you hear both sides of the argument, both views, the truth & the untruths, because when you lose the freedom of the independent press, you lose the freedom of your independent mind. They go take that away from you you may as well turn mummified. Look what's happened else where in "Russia".

Siberian Times, I am with them in spirit 100% & would be standing with them...if I was there. I knew the people of Tomsk had it in them to see the good in backing the station with the same bravery & tenacity they use to brave the elements of that great region of the world. That bravery is "Awesome"!
Jaker, Dundalk
15/12/2014 01:50
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2
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