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14.09.2005

Press Release: How the public assess the level of freedom of speech in the mass media of the Chernihiv region

   

The Chernihiv town department of the all-Ukrainian public organization “Voters’ committee of Ukraine”, in the framework of the project “Monitoring and legal expertise on violations of operating laws on mass media and journalists in the Chernigiv region”, conducted a survey of residents and visitors to the Chernihiv region. The survey was held from 11 June to 10 July 2005 with financial support of the International "Renaissance"  Foundation. The results of the sociological survey are presented below.

Table 1

Question

Good

Bad

Satisfactorily

Difficult to answer

Give, please, the assessment of the freedom of speech in mass media on the general state level

191

74

162

33

41,5%

16,09%

35,2%

7,2%

Give, please, the assessment of the freedom of speech in mass media on the level of the Chernigiv region

176

85

93

106

38,3%

18,5%

20,2%

23%

How do you assess the level of assurance of the access of citizens to information in mass media on current activities, plans and results of work of the organs of state power?

165

23

78

194

35,9%

5%

17%

42,2%

How do you assess the level of assurance of the access of citizens to information in mass media on current activities, plans and results of work of the organs of local self-government?

92

141

109

118

20%

30,7%

23,7%

25,7%

How do you assess the level of assurance of the access of citizens to information in mass media on current activities, plans and results of work of political parties and movements?

88

102

114

156

19,1%

22,2%

24,8%

33,9%

How do you assess the level of assurance of the access of citizens to information in mass media on current activities, plans and results of work of the non-governmental organizations?

63

125

98

174

13,7%

27,2%

21,3%

37,8%

Assess, please, the level of work of social-political mass media, founded by the organs of state power and/or organs of local self-government

105

111

87

157

22,8%

24,1%

18,9%

34,1%

Assess, please, the level of work of the so-called “non-governmental” mass media

189

106

112

53

41%

23%

24,3%

11,5%

Assess, please, the general level of professionalism of journalists of your region

93

20,2%

102

22,2%

122

26,5%

143

31,1%

In order to ascertain the general level of freedom of speech in the region by the assessment of consumers of information – readers and viewers of local media, experts of the project decided to conduct the sociological poll in the most popular places of sale of periodicals, namely near the Central market and the market “Niva”. All in all, 460 questionnaires were filled in.

Only 38.3% of the respondents believe that the general level of the freedom of speech in mass media in the Chernigiv region is completely good. As much as 41.5% of Chernigiv dwellers observe the freedom of speech in mass media on the all-Ukrainian level. Local journalists are not professional enough. Only 20.2% reckon that the Chernigiv journalists are professional.

Answering the anonymous questionnaire, the respondents also tried to assess the level of their personal access to information in mass media on the current activities, plans and results of work of the most important social institutions: organs of local self-government, organs of state power, non-governmental organizations, parties and political movements.

The citizens have the best access to the information on the current activities, plans and results of work of the organs of state power – 35.9%. Only 20% of the respondents regard as good their access to information on the current activities, plans and results of work of the organs of local self-government. The access to information on the current activities, plans and results of work of the non-governmental organizations (13.7%) and political parties and movements (19.1%) was assessed by citizens as “good”.

All in all, the majority of citizens are satisfied with the work of the so-called “non-governmental” mass media: 41% -- “good”, contrary to 22.8% “good” for the level of work of social-political mass media founded by the corresponding organs of state power and/or local self-government.

It should be noted that the respondents had to answer 9 questions, each of which had four variants of answer: “good”, “bad”, “satisfactory” and “difficult to answer”. Absence of concrete answer to some question was interpreted by the experts, who carried out the sociological poll, as the variant “difficult to answer”.

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