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Monitoring into professional standards in online media. The 4th wave

20.11.2019, 18:25

The news portal Znay.ua has become the worst site in terms of compliance with professional standards, as it is evidenced by the monitoring held by IMI. Quantity of stories which had no breaches to the professional standards here was only 18%. None of mass media editions had such poor performance for all the years of IMI monitoring.

The best performance, according to the monitoring, was seen in Ukrinform, Liga.net, Ukrayinsky Tyzhden, as well as Ukraynska Pravda, Novoe Vremya, and Dzerkalo Tyzhdnya.

During the 4th wave of monitoring in 2019, the IMI experts expanded the list of mass media subjected to the analysis. 112.ua and Znay.ua web-based editions have been included to the list of monitored mass media, and this negatively affected the average indices of compliance with the professional standards. For example, the level of adherence to the standard of separation of facts from commentaries dropped by 15%, getting from 95% during the 3rd wave of monitoring in 2019 to 80% during the 4th wave. Such a significant deterioration of the standard of separation of facts from comments is explained by the large number of tabloid materials and addition of Znay.ua to the list of monitored sites.

Compliance with the opinion balance standard decreased by 3%, as compared to the previous monitoring period and was at 92.5% (it was 95.5% during the 3rd wave of monitoring). The results of compliance with the standard of credibility remained practically unchanged and amounted to 94% (3rd wave - 95%).

These are the results of the monitoring of 18 web-based editions that the Institute of Mass Information held with the support of Internews Network * in October 2019.

 

  • Ukrinform, Liga, Ukrayinskay Tyzhden

During the 4th wave of monitoring in 2019, three online media outlets shared first  position in the ranking: Ukrinform, Liga and Ukraynsky Tyzhden.

These resources had the average level of adherence to professional standards of 98%.

Our experts revealed one breach to the standard of balance of opinions and points of view in the news of Ukrinform : SkyUp made the first flight from Kiev to Lviv , the news is based on a press release of the company and no balanced it with the background.

A similar violation was reported on Liga website in the news Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric Car is officially presented: photo. .

There was a violation of the standard of credibility on Ukraynsky Tyzhden website, because the news MPs passed a law on transition of parliament to electronic document flow failed to cite any source of information. No violations of other standards have been recorded on these sites.

 

  • Ukraynska Pravda

96% of the stories on this portal had no violations of professional standards. However, there were recorded some evaluative judgments in the headlines, which the IMI experts consider as violation of the standard of separation of facts from comments. In the news ECHR criticizes lustration of Yanukovych officials | Ukraynska Pravda claimed in the headline that the European Court of Human Rights has criticized lustration, but the court does not criticize, but it issues decisions. A similar violation was recorded in another UP news Russian orthodoxe church ''avenged '' the Greek Church for acknowledging the autocephaly of the Ukraine orthodoxe church.

There have no other violations of standards on the site.

 

  • Novoe Vremya, Dzerkalo Tyzhdnya

The two websites took third position in this ranking: Novoe Vremya and Dzerkalo Tyzhdnya, with both resources accounting for 94% of stories which had no violation of professional standards.

Dzerkalo Tyzhdnya website had 4% stories which contained breaches of credibility standard, in particular, in the news Elina Svitolina abandoned the Kremlin Cup (Sport) and the news In Luxor they are to produce opera Aida with 150 musicians from Ukraine (Culture) had no source of information. Another news had violation of the standard of separation of facts from comments : Employee of Zelensky’s press service who had confused two countries, got geographical atlas as gift (Politics). The news said: "the message was corrected, but then they deleted it in order to hide the history of the corrections, " and there is no reference to any source of information.

On the site of Novoe Vremya, there were some violations of standards of balance and credibility. Thus, balance standard was broken in the news:  SkyUp lowcast launched new flights from Kharkiv –(Ukraine). 4% of materials on the site had breaches of the standard of credibility.

 

  • Gordon

92% of stories had no violations of professional standards, such were the results of the monitoring of Gordonua.com site during the 4th wave of monitoring in 2019.

It should be noted that in general, the edition thoroughly respects professional standards. Thus, no violations of standards of credibility and separation of facts from comments were established on the site. Violation of the standard of balance has been revealed in some materials with signs of being paid-for stories, which are not properly marked on the site. Several materials were marked with the label "Of current interest", according to the information on the site, the materials which are marked like this are published for advertising purpose. These were the image-maker materials speaking of the Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation and the Arcade Bank: Curious thing on poor hearing : a girl with poor hearing has been socialized, became happy and is going to help to others. Competition organized by Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation. Bank Arcada and Industrial Innovation Group launched first in Ukraine block chain data.

 

  • Censor

Censor ranked fifth with 90% of materials with no violation of professional standards.

There were no violations of the standards of credibility and separation of facts from the comments. All violations they had were violations of the standard of balance: 10% of the materials with violation of balance standard.

For example, in the news Fighting smuggling: Makarenko on combating smuggling stockings (10/17/19 1:05 pm) the former head of customs accused the acting head of customs of poor efficiency, at the same time the news had not comments from the acting head of custom service.

 

  • Interfax, RBC-Ukraine

Two web-based editions, Interfax and RBC-Ukraine, had similar results - 86% of materials written without violating professional standards.

10% of the materials on the RBC-Ukraine website were unbalanced, this is especially true for materials with signs of being paid-for:

Such materials have not been marked at all.

4% of stories contained a breach of credibility standard, and 6% of materials violated the standard of separation of facts from comments. For example, the news Dubnevych was prosecuted for theft in Ukrzaliznytsya said that Ryaboshapka had filed a motion regarding Dubnevich, that is, he had not yet been prosecuted, and subsequently the title was changed.

The RBC-Ukraine site has worsened its results, comparing to the previous monitoring period, when its index was 94% of materials without violations.

The Interfax site most often violated the standard of credibility: 8% of materials. The Interfax site has practically no hyperlinks to the primary sources from which it re-post information. This is a negative practice, however, IMI experts don’t consider it as violation. However, the same practice is also used by Interfax in materials where the source of information is social networks - there are no hyperlinks. screenshots, page titles, which makes it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to verify this information. These materials were qualified as such that violated the standard of credibility.

4% of Interfax materials were not well-balanced and contained signs of being paid-for. There was no violation of the standard of separation of facts from comments revealed on the Interfax site.

 

  • Sehodnya daily

84% of the materials on the site SEhodnya are written without violations of professional standards.

Most often the site violated the standard of balance : 10% of materials. This is due to the large number of stories with signs of being paid-for:

8% of materials had violations of the standard of separation of facts from comments.

 

  • Channel 24

The 24th channel took 8th position in the ranking with 82% of stories wich had no violations of professional standards. The site has significantly improved professional standards, compared to the previous monitoring period (by 8%).

14% of materials on the site violated the standard of separation of facts from comments. The news Razumkov made conclusion over 50 days of Verkhovna Rada's work: self-evidently video  contains the phrase "He did it by means of an eloquent video", which is an evaluative judgment; a similar violation was found in the news Zelensky's Trip to the USA cost 7,3 mln hryvnias, which says "Zelensky also delivered a powerful speech at the UN General Assembly." And in the material Who are Swinarchuk (Gladkovsky) in Ukraine they fail to put the Gladkovsky's comment, instead there are a number of evaluative judgments and non-sourced information. 8% of materials had violation of the standard of balance on the site. The standard of credibility is broken here in 4% of news.

 

  • The 112th Channel

76% of stories on website of the 112th had no violation of professional standards.

Most often the site violated the standard of balance : 22% of materials. This is especially true for materials criticizing Bill #1210, which envisages an increase of the rent for iron extraction :

The standard of credibility and separation of facts from the comments were violated in 2% of the materials.

 

  • UNIAN

74%of stories complied with the standards. In 20% of news items on the resource there were evaluative judgments, first of all, in tabloid-like news:

Nadia Dorofeeva flashed her juicy buttocks: photo

Svetlana Loboda in sexy outfit staged a sexy dance: video

12% of materials on the site violated the standard of balance, this indicator was also due to materials with order signs that were revealed on the site.

The site worsened its performance by 6% compared to the previous monitoring period.

 

  •  TSN

72% of materials on the site had no violations of professional standards. The most violations on the site concerned the standard of separation of facts from comments: 26% of materials. The resource contains a large number of tabloid materials that often use evaluative judgments:

These materials often also violated the standard of credibility, for example, the news Sarah York had 60th birthday, the British Duchess in fine form - photo  was about the Duchess Sarah York who celebrated her 60th birthday, but there was no source of this information.

In general, 12% of materials have violated the standard of credibility. The least percent of violations the site had, concerned violations of the standard of balance: 4% of materials, but this IMI experts explained by a small number of controversial materials which need balance.

 

  • Obozrevatel

The site has steadily low level of violations of professional standards and keeps approximately the same level though all waves of monitoring. In the previous monitoring period, compliance with standards was of 68%, and during the 4th monitoring wave it was 70%.

20% of materials contained evaluative judgments, and 12% of the materials lacked balance. For example, the story Kyril attacked Ukraine due to Orthodox Church of Ukraine  the word “attacked” did not correspond to  the text of the news, where it was said that Kyril made a statement about the Ukraine Orthodox Church at an extraordinary sitting of Synod.

The balance standard was broken in 6% of materials.

 

  • Strana

Strana ranked second last position in the rankings with a score of 62% of materials without violations of professional standards.

22% of materials violated the standard of separation of facts from comments. 12% of materials violated the standard of credibility, failing to cite any source. For example, in the news: the Verkhovna Rada passed the laws on the Unified electronic system in the field of construction and audit of road safety.

The standard of balance on a site is broken in 6% of materials.

 

  • Znay.ua

The last position of the rating was taken by the site Znay.ua. Only 18% of the materials had no violations of professional journalistic standards.

No other mass media edition had such low level of compliance with professional standards since 10 years of IMI monitoring.

On the site, 48% of materials violateed the standard of credibility and separation of facts from comments. So it is question of fake news and manipulations and copyright infringement on this site.

For example, the news the Residents of Lviv will remain without water: the list of empty taps does not mention any source at all, but they list the streets where they plan to shutdown water. There is also no source of information in the news Sakura blossomed in Kyiv - bright photos.

In the material How Stavnitser spoils his reputation by ties with an odious developer  had an evaluative judgement: "He is also known as a very popular blogger and a real" master of the minds "among young people."

The balance standard was broken in 24% of materials.

  • Monitoring analysis was carried out in 18 nationwide online mass media editions (eleven of the most rated and seven mass media that signed the Memorandum of Media Movement for compliance with professional standards): obozrevatel.com, segodnya.ua, 24tv.ua, tsn.ua, strana.ua, pravda.com.ua, 112.ua, znaj.ua, rbc.ua, unian.com, gordonua.com, nv.ua (M), liga.net (M), ukrinform.ua (M), zn.ua (M), censor.net.ua (M), tyzhden.ua (M), interfax.com.ua (M). The total sample was 900 materials : 50 materials, which had been taken at a row simultaneously from each site subjected to the monitoring. 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 this material is the sole responsibility of the Institute of Mass Information NGO and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the US Government, or the Internews Network. The methodology of the study can be found here.

Photo credit: assets-a2.kompasiana.com

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