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Prosecutor General Venediktova leads in PR, NABU and SBU covered positively. How mass media do cover law enforcers

08.04.2021, 18:29

The activities of NABU and SBU are covered in the media mainly in a positive tone. Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova hype oneself the most in mass media. These are the results of the monitoring of the Institute of Mass Information of 18 sites for coverage of the activities of law enforcement agencies and courts during February 22-28. In total, the sample included 2009 news *.

This is the final material for IMI monitoring in coverage of the activities of the SBU, NABU, SBI and the prosecutor's office. The previous two materials concerned the courts and the police.




Who is fairest one of all?

The three law enforcement agencies (SBU, NABU, SBI) and the prosecutor's office lose out significantly to the police and courts in quantity of news covering its activity. Thus, the previous IMI monitoring reports evidenced that 753 out of 2009 news items (or 37.5%) concerned the police and the Ministry of Internal Affairs , and 582 (or 29%) concerned courts and judges. For comparison: the SBU got into 295 news items (14.7%), the prosecutor's office did into 271 (13.5%), NABU did in 92 (4.6%), SBI did in 31 (1.5%). Please note: in total there are more than 2009 news items and 100%, because in some news several law enforcement agencies were mentioned at once.

One of the subjects of the study was to identify the tone of the news about the activities of law enforcement. Thus, among the "positive" news about the latest group of law enforcement agencies (SBU, NABU, SBI and the prosecutor's office) IMI experts included those about their successful activities: the criminal was detained, illegal activities were exposed, suspicion was declared and so on.

NABU and SBU were the leaders of positive news about their activities : 59.8% and 52.9%. Also, these agencies have the smallest percent of news with negative connotation.

Most of the negative news was recorded on the activities of the prosecutor's office : 13.7%. This is the second most negative indicator after the courts, in which 41.2% of reports were negative.

If you look at the media in terms of how they cover the activities of the SBU, NABU, SBI and the prosecutor's office, then for almost all of these structures and all media, the positive reports prevail. The only exception is the prosecutor's office: the Ukrinform and Ukrainska Pravda websites have the same number of positive and negative news, and the newswire had only one negative news item about the prosecutor's office during the monitoring period.


The National Anti-Corruption Bureau has become the leader in terms of positive news on activities. These were 55 out of 92 news, or 59.8%.

Examples of positive news:

"Censor": NABU is being attacked because we have hurt the interests of very influential people - Sytnik ;

"Novoe Vremya": Nationalization of Medvedchuk's assets. NABU and SBU began the return to state ownership of the Samara - Western direction - oil pipeline ;

Ukrinform: Scheme for 130 million: NABU takes to court the "land" case of Odessa officials ;

"Dzerkalo tyzhdnya": NABU: Oleg Tatarov has been legally declared a suspect, all materials are ready to be provided by Supreme Anti-Corruption Court ;

Ukrayinska Pravda: Detention of adefendant of Privatbank case: details have been revealed by NABU .

In total, 11 out of 18 sites provided more positive news than neutral ones. The latter, we accounted 36 items (39.1% of all news about NABU)

Most positive news (44 out of 55) concerned the case of Privatbank. In this case, one of the defendants, who was trying to leave Ukraine by plane, was detained during the monitoring period.

Examples of news on this topic:

Segodnya: Three former top managers of Privatbank are suspected of embezzling 136 million: details from NABU ;

Gordon: Former managers and beneficiaries of Privatbank could act in collusion with the National Bank of Ukraine - Sytnyk ;

"Liga": Waste of UAH 136 million. NABU reported the suspicion to two other ex-officials of Privatbank ;

Channel 24: It’s averting, lawyer about suspicion notes in case of Privatbank ;

Novoe Vremya: NABU checks the involvement of NBU officials in withdrawing money from Privatbank .

The only negative news about NABU came out on the website under the headline "The director of Ukrbud saqid that NABU tried to persuade him to cooperate with a fabricated case." The news quotes a Facebook post by Ukrbud Development CEO Oleg Mayboroda, who is suspected of conspiracy and abuse of power during the construction of a residential complex in Kyiv. Mayboroda claims that in this case NABU is trying to persuade him to cooperate in another case - "about the apartments of the National Guard."

As for sources of information for news about NABU, most often such were the resources of the bureau. 40.2% of the stories were written on the basis of news from the NABU website (10 news items) and NABU accounts on social networks (27 news items).


Among law enforcement agencies, the SBU appeared in the news most often after the police : 282 materials (in the police - 582). Most reports with the SBU were published on the sites (30 materials) and (26), the least - (3) and (5).

There is half as much news about the SBU as about the police, while the share of positive news, on the contrary, is twice as high in the SBU. Regarding the SBU, IMI experts counted 156 such news (52.9% of all reports about the secret service)

Examples of positive news on SBU:

Ukrinform: SBU counterintelligence detained activist of so-called "Crimean spring"

Segodnya: SBU suspects "Ukrainian expert" from Kremlin channels of treason

"Censor":  Today, SBU and NABU begin operation to return the oil pipeline "Samara-West direction" to state ownership, - source

"Channel 24": In the Lviv region, the SBU exposed the "bot farms" run by Russian special services: photo

TSN: “I was collecting data about the newest Ukrainian tank”: a Russian military intelligence agent was detained in Kharkiv

A number of positive news sites about the SBU predominate over neutral reports. Thus, for the SBU these are the following media: (20 positive and 10 neutral), (19–3), (15–6), (13–12), ua (12–7), (11–3), (10–9), (7–4). The share of news of neutral tonality was 43.4%.

Most of the news about the SBU during the monitoring period spoke about Shariy's case, in total 38. Almost all of them - of a neutral nature - reported that Shariy did not appear for questioning and as a result was put on wanted list.

Only "Strana" cited the lawyer Valentyn Rybin speaking on the case of Shariy, at did it twice: after Shariy and his lawyer was summoned for questioning in the SBU. And only NV made the news about the reaction of Shariy to the announcement of his search. This report was the only one with a negative tone towards the SBU among all reports on the Shariy case.

Following NABU, the secret service has one of the lowest rates of negative news - only 3.7% (11 reports).

Negative news topics:

- Reports of surveillance by intelligence services after MP Geo Leros, as he said the MP, placed "Bukvy", "Gordon", Ukrinform,Dzerkalo Tyzhdnya”, "Ukrainska Pravda" and " Novoe Vremya".

- The role of the SBU in blocking the new TV channel of Medvedchuk with reference to the statement "112 Ukraine" was reported by UA:PBC.

- Political expert Borys Tyzenhausen commented on the recordings of the Medvedchuk-Surkov conversation in a negative light for the SBU in the news of “Segodnya” website.

IMI experts also recorded 17 PR news about the SBU. They talked about the installation of a billboard by the secret service in front of the Russian consulate: "Stolen". A banner with the image of Crimea appeared near the Russian consulate in Kharkiv.

Two thirds of the news about the SBU had the source of information sites affiliated to the secret service, in particular, 142 media reports were prepared on the basis of materials from the SBU website, another 45 were on the basis of posts of the secret service on social networks.

Prosecutor's office

Authorities and prosecutors are mentioned in 261 news items. The leaders by number of news with the mention of the prosecutor's office are UP:PBC (30 materials) and (27), the least news was published on the sites (only three), and with five news each.

112 news items with the mention of the prosecutor's office are of a positive nature, more than half of them (59) are reports of detention, pressing suspicion, sending an indictment, choosing a measure of restraint.

Examples of such news:

RBC-Ukraine: "Nationalization" in Crimea: Ukraine has declared suspicions to Aksenov and Konstantinov ;

Gordon: The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine reported about detention of a rapist of a nine-year-old girl. The man sold porn content on DarkNet ;

TSN: High profile murder in Kharkiv: the suspect extorted a debt of 100 thousand dollars ;

"UA:PBC": The dean of the university was detained in Kropyvnytskyi. He is suspected of extorting a bribe ;

Interfax-Ukraine: The court arrested a driver suspected of killing a pedestrian in the center of Kiev .

141 news about the prosecutor's office concerned high-profile cases, including Serhiy Sternenko, Kateryna Gandziuk, Pavel Sheremet, Petro Poroshenko, Joe Biden, Oleg Tatarov and Privatbank. In the news about high-profile cases, 45 were favourable for the prosecutor's office (mostly in the case of Privatbank : 35 reports), another 26 were negative (mostly Sternenko's case : 21 reports).

Examples of news on high-profile cases:

Kolomoisky's case: Venediktova spoke about Kolomoisky's suspicion and extradition ;

Gandziuk on the right: Venediktova: I can be proud of Gandziuk's case ;

Rudkovsky's case: Abduction of ex-head of Oil and Gas Production: case solved ;

Biden's case: No reason to reconsider the case against Biden's son - Venediktova ;

Tatarov's right: Venediktov is trying to avoid discussing Tatarov's case, as she is on a "political trip-wire", - Voice MP Zheleznyak ;

Poroshenko's case: Ryaboshapka - about cases against Poroshenko: He is no longer "terrorized" by the courts, because it improves his ratings ;

Sheremet's case: It seemed that there was enough evidence for suspicion - Ryaboshapka about Sheremet's case ;

Sternenko's case: "Holos" collects signatures for the resignation of Prosecutor General Venediktova due to Sternenko's sentence ;

On the right of Privatbank: The Prosecutor General's Office reported suspicions to former top managers of Privatbank. What is known about these people .

The head of the Prosecutor General's Office, Iryna Venediktova, became a leader in PR news among all law enforcement agencies and law enforcement officers. IMI experts counted 63 news items with Venediktova's personal PR (the most - 39 - regarding the Privatbank case). For comparison: in the previous materials about the monitoring there were 62 PR news related to the police and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and only three news were about Arsen Avakov.

All news with Venediktova's PR had quotations of the prosecutor general (except for one news in which Venediktova was promoted by the MP of "Servants of the people" Danylo Hetmantsev). And it was in these quotes that she praised her work. Mostly this news concerned the case of Privatbank and the role of the GPO leader in the detention of suspects - 39 out of 63 PR news. Of all 18 sites, only UA:PBC did not publish any news with Venediktova's hype.

Examples of PR news in favour of Venediktova:

Obozrevatel: Suspicion to Privatbank's top managers: all names have become known ;

"Korrespondent": Venediktova announced new suspicions in the case of Privatbank ;

"Censor": Venediktova on suspicion to Yatsenko and Dubilet: The case of "Privatbank" is not the only one. I advise you to prepare for the witnesses whose activities the law enforcement officers turned a blind eys on: we’ll open our eyes ;

"Gordon": Danyliuk asked if Kolomoisky's extradition was being prepared, Venediktov answered ;

Ukrinform: Venediktova spoke about the "cornerstone" of all changes in the prosecutor's office .

In news about the activities of the prosecutor's office, mass media most often used information resources of the prosecutor's office itself as sources. Thus, out of 261 messages, 120 (or 46%) referred to the prosecutor's office, of which: 62 did to the official website of the prosecutor's office, 33 did to accounts of the prosecutor's office in social networks, 25 did to the posts in social networks Venediktova.

SBI (State Bureau of Investigation)

The activities of the State Bureau of Investigation received the most feeble media coverage. During the week, only 31 news items about SBI were published on all websites. At the same time, five sites did not mention it in any news at all:,,,,

IMI experts identified 13 news items (41.9% of all) about the activities of the DBR. Examples of positive news:

"Korrespondent": A customs officer who extorted a bribe for transportation of cigarettes was detained in Zakarpattia ;

"Censor": In Krivoy Rog on a bribe of 5 thousand a policeman was detained, - SBI. PHOTO ;

"Dzerkalo tyzhdnya": The lieutenant colonel of the tax police "leaked" secret information to the militants of the "DPR" - SBI ;

"UA:PBC": "He passed secret data to militiamen". SBIdetained the capital's taxman ;

Interfax: Law enforcement officers have uncovered a scheme of illegal tax compensation organized by the State Tax Service .

Only three news items (9.7% of all) are negative for the State Bureau of Investigation:

Obozrevatel: SBI searched a veteran of the war in Donbass due to an investigation into the  on the Maidan massacre ;

Obozrevatel: Turchinov: The current government continues to aggressively crackdown on Ukrainian patriots ;

"Censor": The SBI searched residence of the Maidan Self-Defense Captain Soloninko. DOCUMENT .

Among all law enforcement agencies, the SBI has the highest rate of using the online media of the official website as a source of news about the bureau's activities. 71% of the materials were prepared with a link to the SBI website.

General conclusions of monitoring

The SBU, NABU and the police are law enforcement agencies that detain criminals and expose crimes. As part of this monitoring, IMI experts identified news of such activities as positive for a particular body.

As a result, the share of positive news about NABU and SBU is twice as high as the police: 59.8%, 52.9% and 27.6%, respectively. This is explained by the fact that the police often get into the news of the so-called criminal chronicle, when an event is reported (accident, murder, etc.) only as a fact recorded by the police of the event itself.

NABU and SBU also have the lowest negative news rates among all structures - 1.1% and 3.7%, respectively. Within the framework of the monitoring, only one such news item was revealed about NABU, in which the person involved in the criminal proceedings stated that he was under pressure from the bureau's detectives. In the SBU, the negative news is also related to the assessments of the intelligence service's actions regarding the "persecution of patriots", as the speakers in the materials call it.

The least favouring and, accordingly, the most negative news within the monitoring were recorded regarding the activity of the courts of justice:- 3.4% and 41.2%. And this despite the fact that the courts always have two sides : the prosecution and the defense, which should make it easier for newsrooms to balance their materials.

An even greater disparity in the tone of news about the courts may be in high-profile cases, on which the media produce a lot of material. Thus, during the study, the media actively covered the situation around Sternenko's case. And almost 40% of court reports concerned this case. Here, too, the imbalance with regard to the court verdict is the highest: 74.1% of the news had a negative tone towards the court and only 7.9% had a positive one.

The monitoring also revealed an almost absolute absence of court speakers in online media reports. Only 11 out of 582 news about court activities (1.9%) contain comments from court representatives (press secretaries or presiding judge).

Against this background, the Prosecutor General stands out. Iryna Venediktova with her statements got into 84 news items, of which 62 experts recorded personal PR (another news item with a recorded PR of Venediktova was prepared on the basis of the statement of MP from "Servants of the People" Danylo Hetmantsev). Thus, in PR in the online media, the Prosecutor General was ahead of the police and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (62 PR news) and Arsen Avakov (three PR news).

A significant percentage of news about the activities of law enforcement agencies is taken from the official websites and social networks of these structures. The highest figure in the SBI: 71% of online media materials about the bureau have official sources of information. The lowest rate in the courts: only 13% of news about the activities of the judiciary are prepared on the basis of information from the courts themselves.

You should also pay attention to criminal news, which includes the police. Two-thirds of these reports are primarily sourced from online law enforcement resources. In fact, this is the usual "copy-paste" from the sites and social networks of the police and the Interior Ministry. And very often unjustified for both national sites.

The monitoring analysis was conducted on February 22–28, 2021 in 18 national online media (10 top-rated, eight media that signed a memorandum of the Media Movement for compliance with professional standards):,,, ,,,,,, (M), (M), (M), (M) , (М), (М), (М), (М). The sample was 2009 news.

This study 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 contents are the sole responsibility of the Institute of Mass Informationand do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the US Government or the Internews Network.

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