Almost no hate speech detected in regional news about the war: IMI survey
50% of the news in the regional online media is about Russia's full-scale invasion into Ukraine. Over a half of those are devoted to combat operations, shelling and civilian infrastructure destruction, as well as to the war's impact on social welfare.
War-related topics in regional news: the hostilities (34%), shelling/civilian infrastructure destruction (11%), social consequences of the war (11%), news from the occupied territories (9%), police news related to the war (7%), the war's civilian casualties (5.8%), humanitarian aid/international support (5%), the work of volnuteers/activists (5%), IDPs/refugees (4%), air raid alerts (0.2%), other (9%). 6940 news items monitored in total; of those, 3492 were war-related news published by regional online media on November 7 to 11, 2022.
These are the results of a survey conducted by NGO "Institute of Mass Information" in 10 oblasts of Ukraine this November*.
According to the monitoring data, the most news in the regional online media (34% of the total number of news about the war in Ukraine) were about the course of the hostilities. Shelling and destruction of civilian infrastructure, including reports about the repairs, accounted for 11% of the news. Other 11% of the war-related news were about the social consequences of the war, namely, the power cuts, water supply, heating, etc.
News from the occupied territories made up 9% of the total amount of news reports about the war. However, in some oblasts, the media posted no news on this topic at all. For instance, not a single report about this subject was recorded in Cherkasy and Kropyvnytsky. The amount of such news in Kharkiv media was no more than 0.2%, in Lviv – no more than 0.7%. On the other hand, in Kherson online media, such news amounted to 26%, and in Donetsk to 15% of the total number of war-related news reports in the region's media.
Police news related to the war accounted for 7% of the total amount of content about the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, reports about civilian casualties of the war accounted for 5.8% of the total number of news about the war. Humanitarian and international aid, as well as the work of volunteers and activists took up 10% of the news in regional online media (that is, 5% of the total number of news about the war).
IDPs and refugees (4% of the news about the war) and air raid alerts (0.2%) were the least covered topics in regional online media. However, 9% of the news were devoted to other war-related topics, including mobilization, statements by public figures (including those in Russia and Belarus), the training of servicewomen and awards given to them, topical photo exhibitions and meetings with the families of fallen Ukrainian soldiers, etc.
Top-10 oblasts by the amount of news about the war: Kherson (95%), Donetsk (95%), Kharkiv (74%), Volyn (47%), Lviv (43.5%), Cherkasy (33%), Rivne (33%), Dnipro (31%), Odesa (31%), Kropyvnytsky (23%). 6940 news items monitored in total; of those, 3492 were war-related news published by regional online media on November 7 to 11, 2022.
According to the survey, the online media of Kherson and Donetsk have been posting the most news about the war – 95% of the total number of news in the oblast. In Kharkiv online media, 74% of news were about the war. Online media in Odesa (28%) and Kropyvnytsky (23% of the total amount of news in the region's online media) produced the least amount of news about the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The recorded amount of hate speech in the news about the war in Ukraine was low – only featured in 0.3% of the war-related news. News containing hate speech were published in five oblasts: Dnipro (1.3% of war-related news), Lviv (1%), Volyn (0.6%), Rivne (0.4%) and Donetsk (0.2%). We note that, according to the recommendations by the Commission on Journalistic Ethics, words such as "ruscists" or "Orcs" were not counted as hate speech if used in the sense "Russian occupation troops", "Russian invaders", "the aggressor country's military". Not capitalizing the names of the aggressor state and its leader was not considered hate speech, either. However, let us stress that media experts insist on avoiding euphemisms like "Orcs" in the news and using the war criminals' exact names.
Hate speech in regional news about the war (Region / Percent of news containing hate speech in the region's media): 1. Dnipro (1.3%); 2. Lviv (1%); 3. Volyn (0.6%); 4. Rivne (0.4%); 5. Donetsk (0.2%). 6940 news items monitored in total; of those, 3492 were war-related news published by regional online media on November 7 to 11, 2022.
*The analysis included 6940 news items published on November 7 to 11, 2022, in 50 regional media outlets in 10 oblasts of Ukraine (Volyn, Dnipro, Donetsk (unoccupied part), Kropyvnytsky, Lviv, Odesa, Rivne, Kharkiv, Kherson, Cherkasy); of those, 3492 were war-related news. The monitoring sample was comprised of news reports from the media outlets' news feeds. Analytics, articles, interviews, journalistic investigations, commercial/political jeansa not presented as news, original columns/blogs, announcements were not studied.
The monitoring methodology included analyzing the amount of news about the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, as well as the range of topics in the war-related news, namely, news about the hostilities (including reports of casualties among the military), shelling/civilian infrastructure destruction (incl. addressing the consequences), social consequences of the war (power shortages, water supply or heating issues), the civilian casualties (wounded, killed), IDPs/refugees, humanitarian aid and international support, the work of volunteers/activists, news from the occupied territories, police news related to the war (collaborators, power abuse, crimes, etc.), air raid alerts, etc.
The monitoring also involved assessing the amount of news containing hate speech, in particular in the following categories: calls for violence/discrimination, justification of violence/discrimination, statements about a group's inferiority (including ethnic groups), statements about a group's criminal tendencies (including ethnic groups), comparing one group to another (including ethnic groups), statements about a group's moral shortcomings (including ethnic groups), etc.
The monitoring included the following online media:
Volyn (Volynski Novyny NA, VolynPost, Volyn24, Rayon.in.ua, Konkurent NA); Dnipro (Dnepr Operatyvny (dnepr.express), Dnipro Panorama (dnpr.com.ua), Informator (dp.informator.ua), gorod.dp.ua, 056.ua); Donetsk (0629, Karachun, Mariupol City, Novyny Donbasu, Vostochny Variant); Kropyvnytsky (Hrechka, Bez Kupyur, Tochka Dostupu, CBN, Dozor); Lviv (Zakhid.net, Vholos, Tvoye misto, Dyvys.Info, Gal-info); Odesa (Dumska, Odesa.Online, 048, Odeske Zhyttia, USI); Rivne (Rivne Vechirne, Radio Trek, Rivne Media, Rivne 1, OHO); Kharkiv (VGorodeKharkov, 057.ua, Status Quo, Newsroom, Redpost); Kherson (Kherson Online, Tipichny Kherson, Vhoru, Suspilne Kherson, Kavun.city); Cherkasy (18000, Procherk, Provse, Zmi.ck.ua, Vycherpno).
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