The highest percentage of pieces containing value judgments of journalists and emotionally charged words in the regional news was registered in online mass media of Kharkiv (19%) and Vinnytsia (19%), the smallest – in Lutsk (4%) and Kropyvnytskyi (2%).
These are the results of research by NGO “Institute of Mass Information”, that was conducted in 10 regions of Ukraine in August of this year.*
According to IMI research, in the period of monitoring the experts detected 459 violations in 5 thousand news publications. In average, 9% of news publications in online media outlets contained an emotionally charged expression or value judgment from the authors of the news, which were violating the neutral context of the news pieces.
Most often, the violations related to the following aspects: journalists were interpreting the events with their own versions that were not substantiated by facts, were making baseless assumptions and conclusions in relation to the events, without any confirmation of facts, were unreasonably generalizing, exaggerating the scale, or, in other cases, were downplaying the significance of what was happening. Also, there were journalists’ personal emotional valuation of quality or quantity of some aspects of the events without any factual confirmation, baseless reports about the scale of the events, negative and emotional descriptions of the characters of news pieces, labeling people based on the actions they were suspected of, and violation of the presumption of innocence, abuse of emotional words and expressions and words like “unfortunately”, “fortunately”, “sadly”, etc., use of emotional expressions and evaluations without clear boundaries showing it was merely comments.
“In such a «pure» and conservative information genre as news, journalists do not have a right to comment the material. Not commenting and not giving an evaluation, a journalist should present to the audience, first of all, the facts. And, the second, the opinions of participants of the events. And the third, the opinions of experts. Each fact has a competent source. Each opinion has an author. The journalist should report sources of facts and the authors of the opinions to the audience. This way, the facts are reliably separated from conclusions and evaluations, and this is the professional standard of journalism”, said Olha Holub, IMI media expert.
*The research was conducted by NGO “Institute of Mass Information” under the project «Development of responsible online media» and with support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in August of 2018.
In the process of the research, 5000 pieces of news were processed in 50 regional online media outlets in 10 cities (Vinnytsia, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Kropyvnytskyi, Lutsk, Mariupol, Odesa, Poltava, Uzhhorod, Kharkiv). The monitoring covered only news from the newsfeed of online media outlets; articles, journalist investigations, analytics, announcements, blogs, columns etc. were NOT analyzed.
🔎The monitoring was conducted in the following mass media:
VINNYTSIA (Vinnytski REALiyi, 20 minutes/RIA, Vezha, ІА Vlasno, Channel 33), DNIPRO (Informator, Dneprovskiy Gorodskoy Sait, Dnepr Info, V gorode, 056.ua), ZAPORIZHZHYA (061.ua, Zabor, Reporter Zaporozhya, Forpost, IpNews), KROPYVNYTSKYI (Grechka, Tochka dostupu, Persha elektronna hazeta, Central Ukrainian News Bureau, Bez kupiur), MARIUPOL (0629.com.ua, Mariupol city, Novosti Donbasa, Mariupol-tv, Mariupolnews), LUTSK (Volynski Novyny, VolynPost, Rayon.Lutsk, Volyn24, Pershyi), ODESA (Dumska, 048.ua, USI, Trassa-Е95, Odesskaya zhizn), POLTAVA («Poltavshchyna», Kolo, ОКІА «Novyny Poltavshchyny, Hromadske.Poltava, Poltava365), UZHHOROD (KarpatNews, Pershyi Kabelnyi, Zakarpattia-online, Holos Karpat, Mukachevo.net), KHARKIV (АТН, Status Quo, Glavnoye, Gorod Х, KHARKIV Today).