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IMI and Detektor Media to not to be involved in examination of Zaborona’s publications

21.07.2020, 16:39

The NGOs Institute of Mass Information and “Detector Media” will recommend to its representatives in the Independent Media Council and the Commission on Journalistic Ethics not to take part in the examination of the publications of the online edition "Zaborona".

The decision was made at the request of Zaborona itself, which had blamed IMI and " Detector Media " with being biased, since we and our colleagues had published on our websites the response of the StopFake supervisory board to the article signed by Zaborona.

For our part, we are surprised by such accusations of Zaborona and deny them. So far as, IMI and “Detector Media” made public on its webpages the statements of EVERYONE who spoke about the incident: StopFake, Human Rights Watch, Hromadske Television, Initiative 34, Media Movement "Media for Conscious Choice". Statement made by StopFake, as a party to the conflict, was precisely aining to reply to “Zaborona” publication, ie that was a stance of a party that had been subjected to the criticism, and it did not require any additional comment from “Zaborona”. In fact, while responding to StopFake furtherly as the the conflict went on, “Zaborona” failed to give the floor to that organization in these publications to comment on its responses, and only gave a hyperlink to StopFake's statement.

We would also like to emphasize that these were “Detector Media” and IMI that came out as initiators of the statement of several public organizations in defense of Kateryna Sergatska.

At the same time, in order to avoid any further speculation and to promote a constructive resolution of the conflict, we decided to voluntarily recommend to the experts related to us to refrain from participating in a possible trial in the Independent Media Council and Committee on Journalism Ethics.

Three members of the Independent Media Council (IMC) - Maryana Zakusylo, Galyna Petrenko and Otar Dovzhenko - are related to “Detector.Media”. The IMI’s team is represented by Olena Golub and Roman Golovenko inside IMC.

Among members of the Commission on Journalistic Ethics are the representative of " Detector Media " Svitlana Ostapa and this one of IMI - Oksana Romanyuk.

Taras Petriv, member of the board of the “Detector Media” NGO, is also a member of the IMC, and Oleksiy Matsuka, member of IMI, and Valery Ivanov, one of the founders of the “Detector Media” NGO (formerly the Telekritika NGO), are also members of the CJE. With the purpose to to avoid any suspicion and controversy, we also recommend that they do not participate in the review of publications related to the conflict involving Zaborona and StopFake.

It will be recalled that on July 17, the “Media Movement for Conscious Choice” issued a statement and proposed to discuss "Zaborona"’s publications on StopFake's activities in a professional manner and protested against threats to journalists. The Media Movement has also publicly asked the Independent Media Council and the Commission on Journalistic Ethics to provide an expert opinion as to compliance of the three StopFake Zaborona’s publications with the standards of professional journalistic investigation.

On July 18, the NGO “Zaborona” sent its response to the Media Movement, which also addressed the IMC and CJE. "Zaborona" asked MediaMovement to fulfill four conditions while examination, which, and we quote it, "will confirm an impartial and unbiased approach of the MediaMovement has to the professional discussion."

Two of the four conditions set by “Zaborona” concerned IMI and “Detector Media”. Namely, these were:

  1. To analyze the reprints of the StopFake supervisory board's response of July 8 on the websites of the NGO “Media Detector” and the Institute of Mass Information under the headline "StopFake claims about information attacks against its project team to be intensified" for compliance with journalistic standards.
  2. Viewing to 3rd paragraph, we request that representatives, freelancers and other affiliates of the above organizations not been involved in the analysis of the STATEMENT from on two publications of "Zaborona" taking into account its proven sympathies to StopFake and bias to “zaborona” project.
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