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Institute of Mass Information and Detector Media Launch Complaint Mechanism  

March 12 – A newly created form for complaints about the media was launched on the Detector Media (DM) and Institute of Mass Information (IMI) websites. To file a complaint about media content, people should provide their name, e-mail address, a link to the story they want to complain about, and describe the problem they have with the story. Anonymous complaints are not accepted, but the complainant’s name will not be revealed to the public.

The complaints will be considered by DM and IMI experts for legal violations, professional journalistic standards, and media ethics. Once the complaints are analyzed, IMI and DM will send requests to the media outlets concerned to correct mistakes and publish the experts’ conclusions, and if the media do not act on these requests, DM and IMI will forward the complaints to the Commission of Journalism Ethics and the Independent Media Council for further consideration.

“The mechanism of public complaints on violations of professional standards should become the basis for professional dialogue and increase public trust in media. Constructive criticism is very important for the development and improvement of the quality of publications,” Natalia Ligachova, the head of Detector Media, said. “If a certain media outlet aims to improve its content, it should be ready to recognize its mistakes and appreciate the opinion of its regular readers. Sometimes violations of journalistic standards are not intentional: quite often, it is a matter of being in a hurry, making a mistake, or negligence,” Ligachova added.

“The human factor is always an issue, and a journalist’s mistake might not be noticed by the editor,” said IMI director Oksana Romaniuk. “If the attentive reader points it out and the outlet addresses the issue, this will improve the dialogue between the media and their audience, and increase trust, because the audience will understand that the newsroom is responsive to its consumers,” Romaniuk added.

The methodology [in Ukrainian] used to evaluate complaints is accessible to the general public.

More on the website of the Institute of Mass Information in Ukrainian.