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Media Experts Discuss How to Improve Reporting About Ukraine’s IDPs

February 22 – The Ukrainian news media devotes little time and space to covering internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine.  This survey result was a lead topic from last week’s roundtable discussion in Kyiv hosted by Detector Media that included journalists and media observers, including two well-known German media consultants – Jemma Pourzgen and Annett Leuterer.

Internally displaced persons, or IDPs, are Ukrainians who have had to leave their homes because of conflict in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

According to media monitoring surveys conducted by the Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy, IDP coverage in Ukraine is at just 1 to 1.5 percent of regional media coverage. What’s more, the participants in the meeting, entitled “The journalist ethics in covering IDPs, migrants, and asylum seekers. Media’s role in healing divisions in society”, heard that Ukrainian media – even when reporting about the IDPs – are not “necessarily able to tell the IDPs’ stories ethically and professionally”.

Cases were cited where media stories about employment policy, housing and crime stereotyped IDPs in certain Ukrainian regions and pointed to a general lack of progress from journalists in covering IDPs nearly three years after the Crimea annexation and combat broke out in Eastern Ukraine.

The roundtable’s discussions also called for Ukrainian state institutions to accept responsibility for disseminating accurate information about IDPs.  Roundtable participants agreed that experience from international journalism demonstrates adherence to high media standards will improve reporting, expose facts and consequently help Ukrainians put aside divisons during time of war.

More on Detector Media in Ukrainian.