How to defend freedom of media in a complex environment – the case of Ukraine – Pre 01 2017
The state of freedom of media in Ukraine has been recently the object of debate by different analysts and international organizations. Some reputable experts point to the overall improvement of the freedom of the media in the country, underlining the significant and numerous examples of independent journalism. They claim that international visibility of some negative cases has diverted attention away from the fact that the level of violence against journalists has decreased overall. Freedom House among others has steadily improved the rating for press freedom in Ukraine in the past several years.
Conversely, other assessments note persistent weaknesses in the Ukrainian media environment, including its institutional landscape and legal framework. They refer to the killing of the well-known journalist Pavlo Sheremet in July 2016 and the inability of the law-enforcement to bring the perpetrators to justice; the disclosures of the private data of journalists accredited with "so-called” authorities in the Non-Government Controlled Areas; and impunity for the violent attacks against some TV stations. Most recently, Ukrainian government has been criticised for introducing the ban on the access to Russian online media, with the pretext of limiting the spread of “anti-Ukrainian content”.
Freedom of media, freedom of expression online and offline, safety of journalists, post communist transition, public service broadcasting reform, strategic communications, propaganda war
The objective of the discussion is to assess the state of media freedom in Ukraine and elaborate on actions that would be needed to contribute to its improvement. The discussion will address the following main questions:
- What are the main achievements in advancing the media freedom in Ukraine and where do the most significant challenges lie?
- What should be the priority reforms of the Ukrainian government that would have most impact on the overall situation of the freedom of the media? How does the strong public broadcasting service contribute to the development? What can be done in media to “win the hearts and the minds” of the people living in territories not controlled by the government.
- How can international community address the challenges that Ukraine is facing? What has already been done by different international actors (Council of Europe). What kind of international experience (Estonian example) would be relevant for Ukraine in creating a media environment that is conducive for functioning of stable democratic society?
Welcoming words: Tiina Ilsen, Deputy Director, Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership
- Oksana Romaniuk, Head of the Institute of Mass Information, Representative of Reporters without Borders in Ukraine
- Igor Rozkladaj, leading expert on media, Reanimation Package of Reforms
- Vadim Miskyi, Member of Supervisory board of National Public Television Company of Ukraine
- Artem Bidenko, State Secretary, Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine
- Marju Lauristin, Member of European Parliament, EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee
- Raul Rebane, Estonian media expert and communication consultant, former Estonian Television editor and programme manager
- Leila Marshania, Programme Manager, Council of Europe
Moderator: Tanel Tang, Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU
Focal point: Tanel Tang, Tiina Ilsen
Please provide a short summary from the outcome of your session. Bullet points are fine.