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Excessive restrictions on the work of journalists in Ukraine are unacceptable — statement

20.03.2023, 21:22

Members of the Media Movement and other Ukrainian and foreign journalists call for no new excessive restrictions on the work of the media during martial law. "Zoning" as it has already been introduced by the Operational and Strategic Military Commands makes it practically impossible for journalists to work not only along the entire front line, but also in more peaceful areas.

The zoning principle suggests: "red" zone - where the work of journalists is prohibited in general, "yellow" zone - where the work of journalists is possible only if accompanied by a press liaison, and "green" zone - where media are free to work without restrictions.

Alas, according to previously published information, the "red" zone includes the entire frontline area, as well as de-occupied settlements. It would be worth highlighting that during the counter offensives last summer and fall, only certain areas affected by active operations were closed to the media, not the entire frontline. 

The so-called "yellow" zone has already included numerous locations where local media outlets and regional journalists are working, and the regional capitals of Kherson and Mykolaiv may also be included. The Armed Forces of Ukraine lack a sufficient number of press officers to escort all journalists and all film crews in the "yellow" zones, including regional ones, which are often not aimed at covering the activities of the Ukrainian Defense Forces or do not require access to military facilities. In most of the areas mentioned above, media outlets have not been provided with logical reasons for the restrictions imposed. 

We warn against excessive restrictions on the work of journalists and call for immediate resolution of the situation with access to coverage of the hostilities and their consequences, and for all those involved in covering the war to be made aware of the principles and mechanisms of "zoning" through established professional communication channels. 

The work of the media and journalists is especially important now that the world's attention to Ukraine is gradually fading. Any reckless moves to introduce "zoning" or other restrictions and disregard the principles of democracy and freedom of speech will negatively affect the reputation and further support of Ukraine globally, as these changes will hit both Ukrainian and foreign journalists who risk their lives to tell Ukrainians and the world about Russian aggression and its terrible consequences.

For reference: Media Movement is a community that brings together journalists from leading Ukrainian media, investigative journalists, and experts from media NGOs. The Media Movement for Conscious Choice was launched on February 5, 2019. The first signatories of the Media Movement memorandum were UA: Pershyi, Ukrainian Radio, Hromadske Radio, Ukrinform news agency, Interfax-Ukraine news agency,, Dzerkalo Tyzhnia. Ukraine", NV, "", Channel 5, "Ukrainian Week", Opinion, a number of regional media, NGOs Independent Media Council, Detector Media, Institute of Mass Information, Internews Ukraine, Center for Democracy and Rule of Law, Suspilnist Foundation, National Association of Media, Donetsk Institute of Information, Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy, Zmina Human Rights Center. Later, other organizations and individual journalists joined the event, bringing the total number of participants to over 70.

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