Ukraine: The problem of the displaced is not just their problem but also our problem

Journalists have an important job in speaking up for those that have been displaced. Two years into the internally displaced persons (IDP) crisis in the east of Ukraine, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of people being displaced, reporting on the human stories has decreased in quantity but the quality of reporting from media outlets has increased. 

These are the initial findings of a regional media monitoring presentation delivered in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The Association Spilnyi Prostir and MEMO 98, supported by the European Union, presented results of the fourth monitoring period, which focused on the coverage of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in the local media. The monitoring is a part of the Regional Voices project implemented by a media consortium led by the Thomson Foundation.

"With all the problems facing Ukraine, it might be tempting to forget about the issues facing IDPs, but it should not be forgotten that IDPs are citizens of Ukraine too and, as such, they have the same rights, freedoms and obligations as all other Ukrainians“, said Helga Pender, the European Union Programme Manager, Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace. “In this sense, it is in the public interest for media to continue to report on this issue."

The monitoring took place on 10 – 23 October, with a sample that consists of a total of 204 monitored media (51 TV channels, 65 print media, and 88 online media outlets) in 24 regions of Ukraine divided into four parts (North/Centre, South, East, West).

Four regional reports and a comparative analysis of this period as well as from three previous ones from October last year, February and June are available at http://regionalvoices.eu/en/monitoring

“In comparison with the third monitoring period, regional media coverage of IDPs decreased. Yet, we have seen an increase of better quality stories on IDP-related issues as well as materials that provided useful information to IDPs on social benefits”, said Lesya Yaroshenko of the Association Spilnyi Prostir. “This is encouraging and we hope that this trend will continue.”

“We have to understand that the problem of the displaced is not just “their” problem but it is also “our” problem. We all share common responsibility and should thus show solidarity and reject confrontation. We never know when we will depend on someone else’s help”, said Rasťo Kužel of MEMO 98. “It is good to see better quality stories, often driven by IDPs themselves. But the media can still do much more to help them.”

“We have to understand that the problem of the displaced is not just “their” problem but it is also “our” problem. We all share common responsibility and should thus show solidarity and reject confrontation" 

Rasťo Kužel, MEMO 98

A series of trainings workshsops that formed part of the project have been designed for regional media to strengthen their reporting ability by enhancing independence and quality of content, as well as strengthening their access to networks, both within Ukraine and beyond its borders.

The final monitoring reports covering all four monitoring periods will be published in February 2017. For more information on the monitoring results, please contact Lesya Yaroshenko at ukrainianmonitor@gmail.com.

'Behind the scenes' with Regional Voices from Regional Voices on Vimeo.

Regional Voices is a project offering a series of training that is designed for regional media to strengthen their reporting ability by enhancing independence and quality of content as well as by strengthening their access to networks, both within Ukraine and beyond its borders. You can find out more here: regionalvoices.eu

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