On February 20th, IMI celebrates 25 years since its official registration
On February 20, the Institute of Mass Information celebrates its 25th anniversary. On February 20, 1996, IMI has been registered as a public organization.
IMI was founded in October 1995 by a group of Ukrainian and foreign journalists led by Alla Lazareva, who became the organization's first executive director.
In different years, IMI was also headed by Iryna Shust, Serhiy Taran and Victoria Syumar, and since August 2013 the executive director is Oksana Romanyuk.
IMI's mission is to contribute to the evolvement of socially responsible journalism and expansion of media literacy among Ukrainians for the sake of successful sustainable development of Ukraine on the basis of European values.
IMI works out analytics in the field of freedom of speech, professional and ethical standards of journalism, organizes campaigns, drafts amendments to Ukrainian legislation and conducts activities in the field of media literacy and protection of journalists' rights. IMI has a network of journalists representing it in 20 regions of Ukraine.
In particular, in 2020 the total audience of IMI research was more than 5 million people.
IMI has prepared the White List of quality Ukrainian online media, which includes nine national online media: "Dzerkalo Tyzhdnya” (Mirror of the Week), "Ukrayinska Pravda” (Ukrainian Truth, "Ukrainsky Tyzhden” (Ukrainian Week), "Liga", Public Broadcastier website, "Bukvy” (Letters") "Censor”, Hromadske and Ukrinform.
According to an anonymous survey of the editors-in-chief of leading Ukrainian online media, 40% regularly use IMI monitoring to communicate with advertisers, 40% use them from time to time (depending on their position in the rankings).
A study of jeansa (commissioned journalism pieces) in 19 top online media during the year eviidenced that the main customer of political jeansa was the political force OPFL (Opposition Platforme-for life). The lion's share of these pieces came out on the sites 112.ua and NewsOne.
IMI is systematically monitoring the transparency of Ukrainian online media and advises them how to improve its accountability to the public. According to IMI, online transparency increased in 2020 by 12% compared to 2019. As of August 2020, 40% of all-Ukrainian online media demonstrated the transparency of their data.
229 cases of violations of freedom of speech were recorded by IMI experts in Ukraine in 2020. The most common violation was physical aggression, which accounted for 74% of all violations of freedom of speech in Ukraine. 62 violations of freedom of speech in 2020 were related to lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is almost a third (27%) of the total number of violations of freedom of speech in Ukraine. IMI data on the monitoring of freedom of expression was used by both national authorities (National Police, Ombudsman, Prosecutor General's Office) and international organizations (UN, Reporters Without Borders, OSCE, Article 19, EU, etc.) for its statements and for other activities.
342 legal consultations were provided to journalists and mass media through the IMI hotline. The number of IMI legal consultations, compared to 2019, increased by 40%.
IMI representatives in the regions of Ukraine held more than 20 meetings with local police and reconsidered at least 10 cases related to attacks on journalists. IMI regional representatives brought to the attention of regional branches of the National Police more than 50 cases of violations related to freedom of speech and pressure on journalists.
IMI experts also identified key trends and misinformation narratives, which included:
-accusations of Ukraine of violating the Minsk agreements (30.4%);
-manipulation of labeling Ukraine for problems in Crimea (20.6%);
-anti-Western narratives, "Ukraine's intervention in Belarus developments" (13%).
IMI conducts a systematic study of mass media in the Eastern and Southern regions of Ukraine, including studies of mass media in the occupied territories. More than 30% of articles on Ukraine in mass media of the occupied territories of Donbass contain fake news and manipulations. As for Crimea, the number of news about Ukraine in the most popular Crimean media has tripled in the last two years (from 155 news as of April 2019 to only 57 in October 2020).
The Jmama journalist safety website has published 51 articles, including tests and recommendations prepared with the help of leading security experts and lawyers. Also in 2020, media expert, IMI security trainer Iryna Zemlyana prepared an electronic manual "Working under PRESSure. A guide for safe daily work of media people."
The MediaCheck complaint mechanism, introduced with the support of IMI and “Detector Media”, received 103 appeals from citizens in 2020. Experts and lawyers prepared 54 conclusions based on the results of the appeals.
In 2020, IMI in partnership with " Detector Media ", US, Institute for Democracy named after Pylyp Orlyk, the Donetsk Institute of Information and the Media Development Foundation launched a website for journalists "Anticovid. Guide for media people" . The site contains 74 materials of animmediate interest, including recommendations for coverage of coronavirus information, legal advice on the work of journalists, for example during a state of emergency, and advice on the safety and protection of media during a pandemic. The audience of the site was more than 70 thousand people.
In total, during 2020, IMI conducted more than 10 trainings and training events, which were attended by 756 journalists, experts and officials.
For more details about IMI's activities in 2020, please, read our annual report.