The Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), with the support of the Evens Foundation, has commissioned a series of articles about the ethical challenges facing journalists covering this war, whether from Ukraine, Russia or around the world.  

This series includes 5 essays, highlighting the importance to news media of the 5 core values of journalism as an antidote to propaganda and censorship:

  • accuracy and fact-based reporting;
  • independence;
  • impartiality;
  • humanity and respect for others; and
  • accountability and responsible reporting.

In Ethics matter in telling the story of Ukraine, Aidan White examines how journalists reporting the war in Ukraine are facing an ethical struggle to tell the story of the conflict in a fair, unbiased and accurate way. Jean-Paul Marthoz explores the challenges to truth-telling in times of war and argues that it “sometimes requires more courage to confront one’s own sympathies, one’s own public opinion or government than to face the enemy’s bullets on the frontlines.” In Ukraine war raises ethical questions for newsrooms, James Ball argues that media organisations must ensure the safety of all personnel involved in news-gathering operations, as well as adapt working practices in the face of media manipulation by both Russia and Ukraine. Lisa Clifford interviews photojournalist Anastasia Taylor-Lind, who believes that the strongest photographic story-telling coming out of Ukraine is by Ukrainians, “… people who are from the communities that they are documenting.” 

In conclusion, Aidan White argues that the fight for democracy and freedom in Ukraine is being fought on two fronts: against Russia’s deadly weapons and against the bribery and corruption of its own political and governmental institutions – and that journalism is the key to winning the latter war.

These essays are available below in both English, Ukrainian and Russian. The essays can also be found in the EJN’s report, Ukraine media: defiance and truth-telling – the frontline struggle for information and democracy, available for download. This report is the final instalment in the EJN’s series of media landscape reports on Building Trust in Journalism in Central Eastern Europe, also supported by the Evens Foundation.

Ukrainian translation by Viktor Perebenesiuk
Russian translation by Daniel Jvirblis

Main image: Kharkiv, Ukraine – April, 30, 2023. Photo by Seneline/Shutterstock


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