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One year of Mediacheck intiative: over one hundred complaints, over forty resolutions

16.03.2020, 15:59

A year ago, the media NGOs "Detektor Media" and "Institute of Mass Information" have launched the Mediacheck initiative. Anyone who is dissatisfied with the actions of journalists or mass media and finds them in breach of ethics, standards or legislation may file a complaint and obtain a public expert opinion. Experts from the two organizations - lawyers and experts in journalistic standards - evaluate the swtories based on transparent methodology. This year, our experts received more than one hundred complaints and published more than forty resolutions.

Why is it necessary?

Ukrainian media have many problems and systemic shortcomings. In order to work on mistakes and improve the quality of their journalism, the media needs a consistent coordinate system. Professional standards, a code of ethics and a law are things that can unite all of them. Reasonable expert opinions point out what violations and shortcomings their publications had, so that they do not repeat their mistakes; explain audiences what is wrong with the story and help to see media production with a critical eye in general. So, "Mediachek" is part of a complex process of self-regulation in mass media.

How does it work?

Upon receiving the complaint, the experts of both organizations analyze the story within the period of ten days maximum and substantiate the answer: whether it violates the standards, principles of professional ethics and legal norms. They expose every argument in conclusion, whic is published on the websites of IMI and the Detektor Media, and - if the breach is confirmed indeed - they sent it to the media so that employees can rectify one's errors. The editorial board or the author has the right to reply; reaction to the findings is also published on the site.

What does the initiative analyze?

Violation of media law, ethics (the basic document we rely on is the Code of Ethics of the Ukrainian Journalist ) and professional standards of journalism (credibility, balance of points of view, separation of facts from comments, accuracy, completeness). In difficult situations that require a more thorough and comprehensive analysis, the complaint is referred to the Journalist Ethics Commission or the Independent Media Council .

Who is to complain about?

Since beginning of the year, the initiative considered complaints about the news and program "Hroshi", production of "1 + 1 " channel, UNIAN news agency , Hromadske television , "Focus" , "Texty" , "Fakty" newspaper , a number of regional TV channels, radio stations, printed press and online editions.

What they are most often complaining about?

About a quarter of complaints relate to a lack of balance of opinion in the stories. Other common issues included pre-paid stories and breach of comment separation standard. They also complained of inaccuracies, xenophobia, plagiarism, violations of children's rights and so on.

Why are there fewer conclusions than complaints?

The initiative rejects anonymous complaints (although the names of the complainants are not disclosed in the resolutions); complaints that have no consent to the processing of personal data; if the media complained of is not Ukrainian or its content does not relate to Ukraine; if the complaint concerns not one, but several publications on different topics; if the complaint does not concern the media at all. We received, for example, some complaints about Wikipedia articles, posts in the MP's blog, and humorous shows. There were several incidents when the editorial board itself revoked the publcation that had been complained of, before revision started.

What complaints had got more of resonance?

The Ministry of Defense complained against the anchorman of online TV channel "Iceland" Serhiy Ivanov. The experts concluded that the presenter acted professionally.

The story aired by the TV channel "Chernivetskyy Promin" with some attributes of being homophobic was stated as unbalanced.

After publication of our resolution, 7dniv.info edition rectified its story by removing a photo which, according to the complainant, violated the rights of children.

Experts have seen xenophobia, language of enmity and other violations in a series of materials about the political adventure of Volodymyr Aryev with the Roma.

According to the complainants, the arguments from our findings about "Hroshi" program, online publication Apostrophe and the newspaper Facty i kommentarii will be used at the court.

How to file a complaint?

Fill out the form. Within two days, you will be notified whether a complaint has been accepted for consideration.

By Otar Dovzhenko, Detector Media

A year ago, the media NGOs "Detektor Media" and "Institute of Mass Information" have launched the Mediacheck initiative. Anyone who is dissatisfied with the actions of journalists or mass media and finds them in breach of ethics, standards or legislation may file a complaint and obtain a public expert opinion. Experts from the two organizations - lawyers and experts in journalistic standards - evaluate the swtories based on transparent methodology. This year, our experts received more than one hundred complaints and published more than forty resolutions.

Why is it necessary?

Ukrainian media have many problems and systemic shortcomings. In order to work on mistakes and improve the quality of their journalism, the media needs a consistent coordinate system. Professional standards, a code of ethics and a law are things that can unite all of them. Reasonable expert opinions point out what violations and shortcomings their publications had, so that they do not repeat their mistakes; explain audiences what is wrong with the story and help to see media production with a critical eye in general. So, "Mediachek" is part of a complex process of self-regulation in mass media.

How does it work?

Upon receiving the complaint, the experts of both organizations analyze the story within the period of ten days maximum and substantiate the answer: whether it violates the standards, principles of professional ethics and legal norms. They expose every argument in conclusion, whic is published on the websites of IMI and the Detektor Media, and - if the breach is confirmed indeed - they sent it to the media so that employees can rectify one's errors. The editorial board or the author has the right to reply; reaction to the findings is also published on the site.

What does the initiative analyze?

Violation of media law, ethics (the basic document we rely on is the Code of Ethics of the Ukrainian Journalist ) and professional standards of journalism (credibility, balance of points of view, separation of facts from comments, accuracy, completeness). In difficult situations that require a more thorough and comprehensive analysis, the complaint is referred to the Journalist Ethics Commission or the Independent Media Council .

Who is to complain about?

Since beginning of the year, the initiative considered complaints about the news and program "Hroshi", production of "1 + 1 " channel, UNIAN news agency , Hromadske television , "Focus" , "Texty" , "Fakty" newspaper , a number of regional TV channels, radio stations, printed press and online editions.

What they are most often complaining about?

About a quarter of complaints relate to a lack of balance of opinion in the stories. Other common issues included pre-paid stories and breach of comment separation standard. They also complained of inaccuracies, xenophobia, plagiarism, violations of children's rights and so on.

Why are there fewer conclusions than complaints?

The initiative rejects anonymous complaints (although the names of the complainants are not disclosed in the resolutions); complaints that have no consent to the processing of personal data; if the media complained of is not Ukrainian or its content does not relate to Ukraine; if the complaint concerns not one, but several publications on different topics; if the complaint does not concern the media at all. We received, for example, some complaints about Wikipedia articles, posts in the MP's blog, and humorous shows. There were several incidents when the editorial board itself revoked the publcation that had been complained of, before revision started.

What complaints had got more of resonance?

The Ministry of Defense complained against the anchorman of online TV channel "Iceland" Serhiy Ivanov. The experts concluded that the presenter acted professionally.

The story aired by the TV channel "Chernivetskyy Promin" with some attributes of being homophobic was stated as unbalanced.

After publication of our resolution, 7dniv.info edition rectified its story by removing a photo which, according to the complainant, violated the rights of children.

Experts have seen xenophobia, language of enmity and other violations in a series of materials about the political adventure of Volodymyr Aryev with the Roma.

According to the complainants, the arguments from our findings about "Hroshi" program, online publication Apostrophe and the newspaper Facty i kommentarii will be used at the court.

How to file a complaint?

Fill out the form. Within two days, you will be notified whether a complaint has been accepted for consideration.

By Otar Dovzhenko, Detector Media

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