Ukrainian media rhetoric had changed after the official introduction of the blockade in Donbass. The Institute of Mass Information (IMI) showed such results after nationwide monitoring of the ten key Internet media and six the most popular socio-political print media, in February, IMI executive director Oksana Romaniuk told to DW in an interview.
"Mostly, the media broadcast the government's position, by showing only negative consequences of blockade for Ukraine. Positions of supporters - the Ministry of Energy, DTEK and experts, were spreading widely through the media. At the same time, the positions of the other side, i.e. blockers (activists who blocked railway lines in Donbass - Ed.), in media were a fraction of supporters,"- Romaniuk said.
According to her, there are two factors influencing imbalance in coverage of topics related to the blockade.
"There may be two factors. First, the party blockers produced significantly less news, while their opponents actively covered their point of view. In fact, the blockers' side was represented by statements of MP Volodymyr Parasyuk, yet these statements slightly marginalized their position. In this situation, the media often acted as repeaters and did not put a lot of efforts to cover this event in a really balanced way.
Secondly, we do not exclude a targeted ignore and silence in showing the other side by the individual media and holdings, because of the relevant editorial policies of their owners. What, for example, newspaper "Segodnia" clearly showed. In particular, they obtained the materials under the headlines like "The blockade destroys the economy". Absolutely all the experts, all the commentators in this article, are strongly against the blockade. In the article, these experts predicted the collapse of the economy and so on,"- Oksana Romaniuk told.
She also noted that in case of some media, it was obvious that coverage of this issue depends on the media owner.
"It was very obvious for some media. For example, newspaper "Segodnia" didn't even try to balance information in their publications. UNIAN, is very distinguished from the others media, because the outlet had more news showing blockers side than the authorities and DTEK. The rest media - Censor.NET, LB.ua, "Ukrainska pravda", Ukrinform, LIGA.net were covering topic almost identically. A cast-iron binding to the owners we saw in "Segodnia" and UNIAN "- the expert said.
In addition, the Executive Director of IMI said that all the experts from the authorities began to act as they are "supporting" blockade after the Government sharply changed position on the blockade of Donbas.
"We As media specialists we are monitoring this situation, and it is surprising us immensely. The situation is clearly showing the lack of a strategic approach in Government, and the lack of an independent examination. Unfortunately, we have not seen experts who could explain the situation in details and independently. So far, the rhetoric of the authorities was strongly negative concerning the blockade. Now, when the situation has lurched to a vane, it certainly affected the media. We were planning to publish the report before, but we decided to hold back for a little, as it is interesting to compare the statements of experts who said one thing and then abruptly began to speak otherwise,"- Romaniuk said.
She emphasized that earlier, there weren't cases of such abrupt changes in presenting information on blockade issue: "The coal block was one of the key issues recently, and because of this, perhaps, it is very obvious, when a sharp change happens in presentation of materials."
Photos - Reuters