Ukraine passes radio playlist language quota

10 November 2016

Ukrainian lawmakers have imposed a language quota on the country’s radio stations.

Under the new law, at least 25% of a radio station’s daily playlist will have to be in the Ukrainian language, rising to 30% in a year’s time and 35% the following year. TV and radio broadcasters are also required to ensure that 60% of programming is in Ukrainian.

According to research carried out by Ukrainian newspaper Ukrainska Pravda in 2012, in that year only 3.4% of the songs played were in Ukrainian.

Ukrainian is Ukraine’s sole official language, although the majority of the population can speak Russian, with around a third of the population considering Russian their mother tongue. According to a statement by the government, the new quota has been brought in partly to weaken “separatist moods”.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has expressed his support for the quota, using social media to call on the population to share their favourite Ukrainian song. The president himself chose a song by rock band Okean Elzy, commonly associated with Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and Euromaidan movements.

Opposition politicians, as well as some musical groups, have voiced opposition to this move, arguing that listeners should be able to choose what they listen to, and that such quotas only serve to be divisive.

Source: BBC News