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POID Reports on Quality of Regional Print Media in Early 2020

March 8The Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy (POID) published its new Analytical Report on its January and February monitoring of regional print media outlets that have completed destatization reform, including their websites.

The monitoring was done in eight regions of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Donetsk, Sumy, Odesa, Lviv, Chernivtsi, Dnipropetrovsk, and Zhytomyr. A total of 2,057 articles were analyzed in print media and 920 in their online media.

According to POID experts, print media failed to adhere to the journalistic standard of offering a balance of opinions; journalists demonstrated loyalty to local authorities when selecting topics, facts, language and visualization tools.

POID reported that in newspapers such as “Visti” (News) in Sloviansk, Donetsk region and other regional media in Kharkiv and Donetsk, they found pro-Russian messages, manipulative headlines, promotion of  “odious” politicians, skepticism about the reforms of decommunization, and pieces of pro-Russian propaganda in publications about World War II.

POID experts wrote that the reprinting of press releases prevailed in regional print media (53.4% of all content pieces), and that there were zero analytical articles or journalist investigations. In the 46.6% of newspapers that was not press releases, the content contained interviews, book reviews, entertainment, greetings, announcements and hidden advertising. The 46.6% also included a small amount of content covering the armed conflict in Ukraine’s East, Donbas reintegration issues, and IDP issues (1.8% in print and 3.2% in online media).

According to POID, economics-related stories in local print media were mostly about gas tariffs. Stories about social issues were focused on healthcare, in particular influenza and preparations at local hospitals for the possible spread of the COVID-19, a disease caused by Novel Coronavirus.