The Ukrainian independence came when radio on the territory of Ukraine was in fact just germinating from a low level: only three national channels of the Ukrainian Radio (First, Promin and Third, now called Culture) and occasional one-hour inserts of oblast radio stations into the programming of the abovementioned channels existed. Yet, the understanding that radio is a global and practically uncontrolled instrument for influence caused rapid development of FM stations, including informational ones.
The state-run radio, which is now in transition into a public broadcaster, covers most of the territory; it is also available through cable broadcast. In spite of complicated periods during the history of Ukraine, especially concerning the freedom of press, Ukrainian radio attempted to keep its neutral and balanced attitude, and never allowed its content to be 100% in favor of the government, as it happened at the state-owned TV channels. Now, during the process of transformation into a public broadcaster, the staff attempts to preserve the achievements accumulated over the decades.
Information radio stations also include Ukrainian branches of the Polish Radio and Radio Liberty. They overgrew their format of mere radio and became convergent, now offering video and transcripts of texts. They broadcast, depending on their contracts, on the frequencies of theUkrainian Radio or Radio Era. Ukrainian outlets of Deutsche Welle, Voice of America, and BBCabandoned terrestrial broadcasting, but remain operations online with uploaded video and radio podcasts.
FM stations in Ukraine form the most number of branches all across the country; each of them has 5-minute-long news broadcasts per hour. One network of stations commissions news from one source only – «Business Radio Group Ukrainian news service». During times of political crises this organization, just like news services of many other radio stations, often broadcast covertly commissioned stories of third-parties, the so-called dzhynsa [Hyperlink]. At the peak of the Revolution of Dignity of 2013-2014, as many as 4 out of 5 news items could have been commissioned that way, and all of them were supportive of Yanukovych’ government.
Most brands of Ukrainian FM stations are based on similar Russian ones, or founded here as their franchises (Melodia, Shanson, Retro, Russian radio). They are often registered as a property of 13 or more limited liability companies of various kinds, the majority of which are simply covered with only one or two real owners behind.
Radio Era became quite popular as a news radio station: it belongs to the family of Derkach from Sumska oblast. For a long time, its news presentation appeared quite balanced, but after the Revolution of Dignity this changed, and the editorial policy took a serious turn to a heavy-hand rule (the Derkach family is considered pro-Russian, supporting the former President Yanukovych).
Radio Vesti and Holos Stolytsi (‘Voice of the Capital’) are news and information radio stations, which built their popularity on quality of their work and diversity of topics, yet they are often accused of being pro-Russian. Radio Vesti is available only in the largest cities of Ukraine and is a part of Vesti Media Holding Ukraine. Holos Stolytsi is on the air only in Kyiv.
Hromadske Radio is the project of a group of journalists, who launched the process of creation of a community broadcaster from bottom up. First, they were available only online and now, owing to arrangements with Ukrainian Radio, they have been granted several hours of broadcasting time on its frequencies, with their own editorial space in the Ukrainian Radio’s office building. Hromadske Radio has several separate projects for Donbas and for Crimea, which broadcast in Russian.
Ukrainian radio also broadcasts in English, German, Romanian, and Russian languages. Also, many radio stations now broadcast only online. MOM has selected the following 10 Radio stations based on audience share.