Ukrainian journalists in ATO zone work without armored vests or insurance - survey
In the conflict zone in Donbas, Ukrainian journalists have to work without insurance or necessary protection gear, as their head offices do not provide insurance for them. This information was made public at the press conference on September 16, from the head of the board of NGO "Telekrytyka" Natalia Lihachova, as she presented an anonymous survey of 50 journalists from all around Ukraine, conducted in the period of June- September of 2015, as reported by "Ukrinform".
"The survey discovered that virtually none of the journalists is insured by their head offices during their detached service in the Anti-Terrorist Operation zone. There is a great problem with insurance companies and the Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Press tried to resolve it but failed, so, just as before, our journalists go to the ATO zone without insurance", Lihachova said.
According to the survey, the majority of the journalists do not use protective gear, such as helmets or armored vests.
"Over 50% of the surveyed do not use any protection gear. Most head offices do not provide any additional training on safety for those, who work in the ATO zone. This mission is taken by NGOs, in particular, the Institute of Mass Information, but the head offices, including those of major TV channels, are not taking this responsibility", Lihachova said.
In addition, according to her, 60% of the surveyed said that there is no dedicated person of contact in their office responsible for control over communication with journalists working in the ATO zone, and providing support and assistance to them when necessary. Also, many journalists do not receive any bonus for working at dangerous locations.