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Media Movement declares that foreign journalists face problems to be accredited in JFO zone

08.02.2022, 14:06

We, the representatives of the media community and the Media Movement, declare that foreign journalists are facing problems while accrediting themselves in Joint Forces Operation zone.

About 400 applications are still pending with the purpose to get accreditation in the JFO zone, as to the Minister of Defense. According to the level of attention of foreign media to Ukraine, the situation can now be compared with 2014-2015. According to foreign journalists, while receiving accreditation in the JFO zone, they face numerous technical problems that complicate the work of the media and undermine trust in the Ukrainian authorities. In particular:

  • The deadline for issuing "accreditation" of 30 days does not correspond to the realities of today and the peculiarities of the media funcionning. Under the conditions of escalation, such delays in issuing accreditation brings to nought the media's interest in developments in Ukraine and creates unjustified technical obstacles. Some journalists also complain about excessive delays in issuing "accreditation" for up to several months for some unknown reasons.
  • "Accreditation" is issued in the press center in Chasovy Yar,which has a very limited number of employees and also limited technical capabilities. As to the figures the IMI has, only one or two people work onsite to process accreditations, which does not correspond to the level of requests.
  • The application procedure is non-transparent,without the possibility to appeal against the denial of accreditation in any way.
  • Non-existance of quality feedback with journalists,who are forced to turn to colleagues, NGOs and eventually write public appeals to influence the situation.

This situation prevents the media, including foreign ones, from covering events in Ukraine truthfully and in a timely manner and creates artificial obstacles for journalists to work. Under the conditions of a hybrid war, it is extremely important to build high-quality and operative support for the work of journalists in Ukraine, which will contribute to the operative and reliable informing of the international community about the events in Ukraine. In addition, this situation undermines the reputation of both the state of Ukraine and the Ukrainian government.

What is to be done to fix the situation:

  • Urgently change the algorithm for issuing accreditations in accordance with urgent needs.
  • Reduce the period for issuing accreditations from 30 days to a maximum of one week.
  • As accreditation is currently issued in electronic form, it is advisable to transfer it to Kyiv, which will significantly increase the efficiency of the process and the quality of communication.
  • Engage more press officers to work with journalists.
  • Improve coordination with the SBU and other authorized bodies.
  • Involve the Ministry of Culture and Informational Policy in resolving the situation, which could moderate the communication between state bodies and monitor the quality information policy of the state.

 

Media Movement is a community that brings together journalists from leading Ukrainian media, investigative journalists and experts from media NGOs.

Media Movement "Media for Conscious Choice" was launched on February 5, 2019. The first signatories of the Media Movement memorandum were UA: Pershiy, Ukrayinske Radio, Hromadske Radio, IA Ukrinform, IA Interfax-Ukraine, Liga.net, “Dzerkalo Tyzhnia. Ukraine”, NV,“ Censor.Net ”, Channel 5,“ Ukrainsky Tyzhden”, Opinion, a number of regional media, Independent Media Council, NGOs “Detector Media”, The“Institute of Mass Information”,“ Internews Ukraine ”,“ Center for Democracy and the Rule of Law ”,“ Suspilnist” Foundation ”,“ National Media Association ”,“ Donetsk Institute of Information ”,“ Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy ”,“ Zmina Human Rights Center ”and other organizations, individual journalists - more than 70 participants in total.

On November 16, 2021, representatives of the prominent media called on journalists to unite themselves inside the professional community to resist political and commercial pressure on freedom of speech. The statement was initiated by 29 journalists and experts, whose names are available at the link

Today, the unification of the two initiatives is under way. The full list of members of the renewed organization will be opened immediately after the formalization of the Media Movement. Currently, the initiators of the movement are developing the rules of the organization, its organizational structure and internal regulations.

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