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84% of respondents journalists faced pressure and violations amid lockdown – IMI survey

16.11.2021, 15:08

84% of the journalists whom IMI surveyed have faced violations of their rights and restrictions on freedom of expression due to lockdown. In particular, as main infringments of journalists’ rights related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the respondents mentioned: denial of access to public government events, court hearings (40%), psychological pressure and cyberbullying due to materials on coronavirus or vaccination (27%), problems with accreditation (21%) and denial of access to information (20%) *. 

These are the results of an anonymous targeted media survey conducted by the Institute of Mass Information on November 1–8, 2021 **.

IMI experts also asked journalists about the actual effect the lockdown had produced to their professional activities and compared their responses within the similar survey conducted by IMI in March 2020 .

Interestingly, during the two years of quarantine, the number of media professionals who had to requalibrate their activities has not changed: 23% of respondents said they did it in 2021, and 22% didso in the first half of 2020.

The survey showed that the audience's attention to the media was not growing as fast as in 2020, when 23% of media outlets reported an increase in audience attention. In 2021, only 16% of IMI media professionals could speak of growth of their audience, which is also a good result given the systematic growth of the impact of social networks on the audience. 

As of November 2021, 43% of journalists surveyed said that their finances had not changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another 17% said that the financial situation has improved. For comparison: at the end of 2020 , 26% of pollees* spoke of improvements. 

It seems that the media market continues to adapt to the pandemic: if in May 2020, 18% of the surveyed journalists spoke of reduction of salaries, then in November 2021 this figure improved by 2% and is 16% *.

Following a two-year pandemic, the dismissals affected 5% of journalists surveyed. For comparison: at the beginning of the pandemic (March 2020), 4% of media professionals expected this.

* The sum of the answers is not equal to 100%, because the respondents could choose several answers.

** The study was conducted by the method of targeted anonymous questionnaire, by means of interactively structured questionnaire, a link to which was sent to potential respondents - journalists and editors. A total of 129 responses were received from journalists, 83% were respondents from the regions of Ukraine, 17% of pollees were residents of Kyiv. 62% were women, 37% were men, 1% were of the other sex. The study was conducted during November 1-8, 2021. 

This research was made possible by the support of the American people through the USAID Media Program in Ukraine implemented by the international organization Internews Network. The content of the material is under the sole responsibility of the NGO Institute of Mass Information and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the US Government, or the Internews Network.

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