“Detector Media” Analyzes Ukrainian Media Coverage of the US Capitol Riot
January 13 – Otar Dovzhenko, head of analytics with NGO “Detector Media”, assessed how leading national Ukrainian TV channels and online media covered the riot at the Capitol building in Washington, DC, on January 6.
Dovzhenko observed that:
- In their reporting related to the event, most TV channels (except 1+1) showed the situation as a conflict of the opposing parties (Democrat and Republican) and did not inform their audiences that despite Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud and failed lawsuits challenging the integrity of the 2020 Presidential elections in the U.S., there was no proof of widespread election fraud;
- Before the storming of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump supporters, most Ukrainian TV channels covered the events of January 6 only obscurely. The media outlets that had reporters on the ground in the United States provided higher quality reporting than did journalists relying on online sources of information; and
- Some Ukrainian political analysts and journalists compared the situation in Ukraine and the U.S., including: Dmytro Lytvyn (Liga.net), who compared former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to Donald Trump as a leader who did not admit a defeat;
- Kostyantyn Ilchenko and Hennadiy Druzenko (Censor.net), who named Russian President Vladimir Putin as a possible reason for/inciter of unrest in many countries, including the U.S.;
- Yuriy Lutsenko (in his blog on Ukrainska Pravda), who compared Trump supporters to Russia-backed separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts; and
- Vitaliy Portnykov (in his article on Bukvy.com) who compared the populist rhetoric of Presidents Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Donald Trump.
Dovzhenko wrote that pro-Russian TV channels and online media in Ukraine (ZIK, NewsOne, Nash TV Channel, Strana.ua, and Vesti) shared the following messages:
- The storming of the U.S. Capitol was very similar to Ukraine’s Euro-Maidan – the same seizure of the government’s buildings;
- American security forces did the same thing that Ukrainian forces did during Euro-Maidan, but American forces are praised for their conduct;
- Americans should stop teaching us democracy;
- The U.S. has fallen into a trap it has set up for other nations, while supporting the color revolutions; and
- American society is divided; the West will not help Ukraine.
According to Dovzhenko, Inter TV channel, which is usually considered to be pro-Russian, covered the January 6 events in Washington without manipulations, but referred to Russian sources like TASS Agency in its reporting.
More on the website of Detector Media in Ukrainian.