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13.6% of news in regional online media based on social media - IMI research

25.09.2019, 18:00

13.6% of the news in regional online media were based on social networks. At the same time, the journalists are used to employ the official institutions' accounts and private Facebook accounts as sources of information. The mostly the social networks as sources of information cover criminal and social issues.

These are the results of the monitoring held by NGO “Institute of Mass Information”, which was conducted in 10 regions of Ukraine this September. *

According to this monitoring, most of the news prepared on the basis of information from the social networks were published in Ternopil (24.4% analyzed in newslines, 250 news) and Zhytomyr (23.2%). The least part of news with social networks as its sources of information were found in Chernihiv's online media (4%) and Sumy (1.6%).

At the same time, the most news with social media sources were covering crime / news reports (27.9%) and social issues (24.1%). The most frequently the information from social networks on criminal issues was used by the online media of Ternopil, Zhytomyr and Zaporizhzhya. The most frequently they referred to social networks as sources for social topics in Ternopil, Zhytomyr and Lviv. Politics also accounted for 10% of such news, military topics had 5.3%, the economy had 4.1%. The least, social networks were used as sources of information in the reports on corruption / anti-corruption (2.1%) and statecraft (1.2%).

According to the survey, the most frequently they used Facebook accounts (83.4%) as sources of information, sometimes they did Instagram and YouTube posts (6.2% respectively), the least they used Twitter (2.2 %) and Telegram posts (2%). Most often, Facebook was used as a source of information in the online media of Ternopil, Rivne and Zhytomyr, YouTube was used in web-based editions in Zhytomyr, Instagram did in Zaporozhye and Rivne.

At the same time, in the news, the journalists most often referred to the accounts of official institutions (27.8%), private persons (19.1%) and officials (14.6%). Local PR services were used as source of information in 14.6% of news coverage, NGO / volunteer accounts were used in 5.1% of news, and politicians' accounts were used in 4.2%. The least, the journalists used expert accounts (2.2%) for news, opinion leaders (2%), and show business stars (2%).

* 2500 news from 50 regional online media in 10 cities of Ukraine (Zhytomyr, Zaporizhzhya, Lviv, Rivne, Sumy, Ternopil, Cherkasy, Kharkiv, Chernivtsi, Chernihiv) which were published in newslines since September 2, 2019 year. Only news from the Internet media news lines (50 first news items in the newsline) were analyzed within this monitoring: no articles, journalistic investigations, analytics, blogs, copyright columns, etc. were analyzed.

The monitoring methodology included analysis of the number of news sites using social networks, their topics, types of social networks and types of accounts used when writing news. Thematic analysis included the following topics: crime / news stories, social issues, politics, military topics, economics, corruption and anti-corruption, statecraft, showbiz, and so more. An account analysis covered the following social networks accounts of: officials, private persons, officials, NGOs, volunteer organizations, politicians, experts, opinion leaders, showbiz stars, local PR services, and so more. The analysis of social networks covered social networks: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Telegram. A total of 340 news stories based on social networks as sources of information were analyzed.

Monitoring was carried out in the following media :

Zhytomyr (Zhytomyr Magazine, Zhytomyr.Info, Zhytomyr online, Fresh News, 20 minutes. Zhytomyr), Zaporizhzhya (, Fence, Forpost, Ipnews, Zaporozhye Reporter), Lviv (ZIK, Zakhid.Net, Aloud, Worth 1 , Your city), Rivne (Radio track, CSO, Rivne 1, Rivne evening, ALL, RivneMedia), Sumy (Dankor online,, Sumy debate, SumyToday, The Sumy Post), Ternopil (, Voice, Terrain, Real, Behind the Cobblestones), Cherkasy (Exhaustively, Cherkasy Media Center, InfoMist, Dash, New Age), Kharkiv (ATN, Status Quo, City X, KHARKIV Today,, Chernivtsi (BuInfo, Young Bukovynets, ACC , Time,, Chernihiv (Horod.CN,, Chas Tchernihivsky, Podii I kommetarii, CheLayn).

This research was made possible by the support of the American people, which was provided through the USAID "Media Program in Ukraine" project implemented by the international organization Internews. Content is solely the responsibility of the Media Institute and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the US Government, or Internews.

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