This independent evaluation of the Ukrainian media landscape and the key challenges facing independent journalism has been prepared by the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) and covers the period before and since the Russian invasion on 24 February 2022.
The report is based on desk research and a range of interviews with journalists, media practitioners, civil society stakeholders and experts both in-country and externally. The work was prepared and updated between September 2021 and May 2023 with initial interviews conducted on the ground in Kyiv as well as online.1
The EJN has sought to include a broad spectrum of views and opinions from the media sector. A majority of interviews with practitioners were with journalists from independent online outlets.
This paper also draws upon the work of other media scholars and organisations who have examined the media landscape in Ukraine including the United Kingdom policy institute Chatham House, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) based in Paris and the US education and information support group IREX. Questions ranged from enquiries into business models, modes of governance, newsroom structures and hierarchies to factors which have an impact on practice and content.
Although this report does not claim to be a comprehensive study of the media in Ukraine it gives insights into challenges that the media face as news organisations strive for high standards of reporting at a time of war and when journalists are under pressure from political and commercial pressures.
The profound national crisis and the ordeal of the people of Ukraine has provoked an unprecedented outpouring of sympathy and international support. Journalists and news media are at the centre of the storm with many journalists and news staff among the victims of violence.
This report examines how the media landscape has undergone a rapid transformation. It highlights the role of assistance from the donor community – including international organisations, government-funded media development agencies and an outpouring of support and solidarity from journalism and media support groups around the world.
The report gives voice to the concerns and views of media leaders and journalists in Ukraine and outlines their strategies for a new beginning for news media and journalism once the war is over and peace is restored.
In spite of the conflict, work to promote quality journalism continues with practical programmes that seek to minimise the risks that journalists face and create an enabling environment for the future of information and democracy in Ukraine based upon international standards of ethical and accountable journalism.2
This report explores the environment in which journalism is practised to identify the needs of the media community and to better define the challenges of contemporary journalism. It is produced in partnership with the Evens Foundation and the Fritt Ord Foundation. The section on journalism education was supported by the DESTIN Journalism Education for Democracy in Ukraine: Developing Standards, Integrity and Professionalism Erasmus+ KA2 project.
1 Detector Media, Texty, the Institute of Mass Information, Internews and journalism educators from universities including
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University.
2 All reports and further information can be found on the EJN’s website at: https://ethicaljournalismnetwork.org/