Ukrainian press provides incomplete and unbalance information


Monitoring of journalist standards carried out by the Institute for Mass Information, together with its regional partners in Lviv, Donetsk and Simferopol, has found that information of public importance in the Ukrainian printed press is incomprehensive and unbalanced.

The monitoring covered six national publications: “Segodnya” [Today]; “Fakty”; “Ekonomicheskiye izvestiya” [Economic News]; “Korrespondent”; “Komentari” and “Ukrainsky Tyzhden” [Ukrainian Weekly]. There were also 6 publications each from Lviv, Donetsk and the Crimea.

In December, as in the previous months, there were most often infringements with regard to balance of views and full presentation of the facts.

Of the regional publications, the worst findings were in the Crimean publication “Sobytiye” [Events] which received a score of 2.5. With regard to virtually all publically important material, this newspaper infringed four of the six main journalist standards.

Greatest adherence to journalist standards were found in the publications “Komentari” and two Donetsk region publications: “Donbass” and “Vechirniy Donetsk” [Evening Donetsk]. They received 5.6 and 5.67 points respectively according to a 6-figure scale. However with regard to “Evening Donetsk”, this result should be viewed against a generally small amount of material on publically important issues. There are quite a lot of reprints which the analysts believe leads to a lack of balance with respect to regional topics.

“Donbass”, however, remains one of the few local newspapers which raises issues of concern to ordinary people, using specific examples. Such issues are, for example, the “kopanki” [shafts closed down and being illegally mined], buildings in a dangerous state and other problems at local level.

“Komentari”, while ahead in the ratings regarding material of public importance did demonstrate infringements with regard to sources and balance. They also erred with regard to separate facts and commentary and accuracy.

Of the national publications the most infringements were found in the newspapers “Fakty” which received a score of 4.31. This most often infringed standards of balance of views and points of view. It had been at a low level over the previous months of the monitoring. An example would be the controversial arrest of Viktor Bondar by the Prosecutor General’s Office with 90% of the material based on statements from the Prosecutor General’s Office, with no other party’s side presented.  The paper remains on a low level for comprehensive presentation of information on an issue due to the actual articles on publically important issues being very small. The monitoring did find, however, a small, but steady, increase in the level of material according to the standards of accuracy (reference to sources).

The best findings were seen in national publications with their average score around 5.03. The lowest score was received by Crimean publications.

The monitoring is carried out with the support of Internews Network, and the local partners are the Donetsk Press Club, the Information Press Centre in Simferopol and the Information Centre in Lviv.

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