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Independent Media Council turns to RAI over Vinnytsia hospital incident

19.07.2022, 10:39

The Independent Media Council turned to the Italian public broadcaster RAI with a request to investigate the incident at the Vinnytsia hospital on July 15, when videographer Anton Kudinov, working as part of the RAI News 24 crew, recorded and posted an interview with Iryna Dmytrieva, a survivor of a russian missile strike. The Ukrainian expert body called on the Italian media to ensure that this situation does not happen again, Detector Media reports.

"We consider this case extremely shameful and unacceptable. First of all, less than two days have passed since the terrorist attack. Obviously, the victim of this crime is extremely vulnerable while undergoing intensive treatment. Her ability to make informed decisions may be questioned due to the shock of the event and the trauma," the letter reads.

According to the experts, even the survivor's permission to film is not automatically a permission for journalists to distribute the recording.

IMC emphasizes that regardless of whether the recording was made and released with the awareness and permission of RAI News 24 journalists, the posted content is associated with the Italian television company.

"We call on RAI's editorial bodies to conduct a thorough analysis of this situation, establish rules and provide recommendations to journalists covering the war in order to protect the honored title of public broadcasting from situations that could seriously damage their reputation. We urge you to acquaint fixers and journalists, especially those working with sensitive topics in Ukraine, with journalistic standards and publish videos about crime victims only after a review and approval from the editors, including social media promos. Such a provision should be strict and unambiguous. We hope that a proper response to this unfortunate incident will prevent such mistakes from being repeated in the future," reads the letter sent to the television and radio company.

The Independent Media Council is a permanent public monitoring and advisory body that examines controversial situations regarding non-compliance with media legislation, international standards of information coverage in the media, violations of journalistic ethics, and also provides recommendations to authorities and other interested parties on improving regulation in the media field. The Independent Media Council was founded by five leading media public organizations (Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law, Institute of Mass Information, Internews-Ukraine, Detector Media, and Souspilnist Foundation) and consists of 15 members.

We remind that on July 16, 2022, Anton Kudinov, fixer of the Italian TV channel RAI News 24, posted a video interview with Iryna Dmytrieva, who lost her daughter and was seriously injured in the July 14 missile strike on Vinnytsia, on his Facebook page. Anton Kudinov faced backlash over the posted interview with the survivor. However, he claimed that she had "agreed to be interviewed and, together with her family, provided additional content" for him. In an interview with Suspilne, the mother of Iryna Dmytrieva said that her daughter has not been told about her child's death: the doctors forbid it, because, according to them, the news can kill her.

On July 17, the Commission on Journalistic Ethics condemned the very fact of the interview that the Italian RAI News 24 channel's filming crew took with Iryna Dmytrieva, who had lost her daughter in a missile strike on Vinnytsia, and the way in which it was conducted.

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