Ukraine’s ideas for countering Russian propaganda and unfair journalism

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2015/06/06 • Analysis & Opinion, Infographics

Article by: Ukraine World

Ideas proposed by a group of Ukrainian journalists, media activists and experts (informal group UkraineWorld) on possible ways of countering Russian propaganda and unfair journalism

1) Revival of Eastern European studies in the EU with more focus on new emerging countries of Eastern Europe which showed significant democratic committment: Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia. Providing significant number of scholarships for Western scholars (both experienced and young scholars making their first steps in the field) studying Eastern Partnerhip countries for their stay and research in these countries. Steps to create a new generation of scholars focused on Eastern Europe as opposed to those seeing Eastern Europe through Russian lenses.

2) Setup of an expert database among the existing prominent scholars focusing on Eastern Europe, security studies, etc. with their profiles and contacts; widest possible dissemination of this database among the editors of key European media.

3) Systematic work on matching editors of key European media with Ukrainian and Ukraine-focused journalists and experts: grants for networking trips of representatives of Ukrainian civic communication and expert institutions with editors of key media outlets in specific EU member states; grants for regular visits of editors of Ukraine, including Eastern regions close to conflict zone.

4) promoting Europe-wide debate on journalistic standards in a new environment, their correlation (i.e. “balance of opinions” vs “facts”). Promoting Europe-wide debate on freedom of speech and possibilities of restricting information / messages promoting war, conflict, hatred, xenophobia etc

5) promoting new self-organization of journalists worldwide, aiming at their re-definition of journalistic standards, principles, values of the profession. Holding a conference of European regulators aiming at developing a new Code of Conduct of “fair play” journalism.  Analyzing instruments and influence of Russian propaganda in the conditions of today’s democratic societies. Invitation of top media to subscribe to the new Code of Conduct.

6) supporting projects on communication education of public authorities in Eastern Partnership countries (particularly Ukraine) with key focus on their communication with foreign media

7) more support to investigative journalism, aiming to disclose corrupt schemes of anti-democratic (i.e. Russian) lobby in Europe. Support to investigative projects disclosing links between propaganda and corruption

8) support to documentaries from Eastern Partnership countries focused on war, Russian aggression, lifestyle of people OR success stories, with their further possible dissemination in EU member states media.

9) Support to projects focused on fact-checking and disclosing lies on Europe-wide scale (StopFake, etc)

10) Support to projects disclosing and analyzing anti-EU and anti-democracy hate speech (in Russia, but not exclusively) directed against democracy and Western civilization and disseminating destruction rhetoric (romanticizing nuclear strikes, etc) – indicative title StopHate.

11) Support to existing English- and Russian-speaking communication channels both in Eastern Partnership countries and in EU member states. Support to Russian media in exile and / or in other Eastern European countries (Ukraine, etc).

12) Support to alternative / communication ideas aimed at audience which distrusts mainstream media. Developing alternative communication tools (video games, mobile applications for youth etc)

13) translation and dissemination of best content of Eastern Partnership countries and suggesting them for publication copyrights free in top EU-based media. Setting of a copyrights-free resource for translations of best publications (like Project Syndicate) inviting European media to use them. Providing grants for key European media inviting them to republish best EaP (including Ukrainian) materials.

14) Providing grants for EU-based media specifically on Eastern European topics (travel costs, translation, permanent columns of the best Eastern European intellectuals etc).

15) Setup of a converging joint press room involving key existent Russian-speaking media projects.

16) Setup of a fund / facility to finance reports by freelancers and independent journalists who would publish their reports and analysis on existing and popular media platforms.

Ideas prepared in informal dialogue with representatives of the following organizations: Internews Ukraine, Ukraine Crisis Media Centre, StopFake, Hromadske TV, Euromaidan Press, International Renaissance Foundation, Ukraine Today, Pershyi Ukraine, Centre UA, Krytyka, Institute for World Policy, etc.

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  • Dalton

    All excellent ideas. Now what is needed to get some of them started?

  • Rods

    Ukraine getting its side of the story across is important not only for countering blatant Russian propaganda but also the inherent Russian bias of much of our mainstream media, where their Eastern European offices are in Moscow and they are not going to made persona-non-grata by following, either consciously or subconsciously, the Putin line.

    I’m glad to report that there has recently been a hardening of people’s attitudes against Russia in the UK, where the comments on Ukrainian news stories are much more pro-Ukraine and Russian trolls spewing their bile are quickly jumped upon with blunt and cutting replies from other commentators.

  • Mark

    Regarding xenophobia, if you start pathologizing the national identity by claiming that its defense, including the defense of the DEMOGRAPHIC integrity of Ukraine, is hateful/xenophobic — you may lose support among the population. Why that instead of claiming that the existence of the Ukranian/Slavic people is “hateful” and that to be “loving” you must accept the ethnic displacement, replacement and eventual demise (i.e. genocide) of the population, don’t you support the demographic integrity of your country? Isn’t it easier than claiming your co-nationals are hateful for opposing their ethnic dispossession? Why should an Ukrainian man defend his country if you want its population dispossessed by mass immigration, as is happening in Western Europe? Why is that an Ukrainian soldier should die if the “national revolution” of dignity will bring about the demise of his people?

    You must be careful not to alienate the Ukrainian population, because Western Europe is under a massive tide of non-white immigration from Africa and the Middle East and the people are not content.

    By claiming that the racial rights activists, namely those who support the demographic integrity and the continued existence of their people, are xenophobic, you alienate the majority of Ukrainians who don’t want this kind of discourse in their country.

    Territorial integrity may come and go, but once a people are gone, they are gone forever. So whoever wrote this, take it into account that you may start losing support if the revolution becomes anti-Ukrainian.

    A charter of racial rights, promoting the demographic integrity of Ukraine, must be passed into law, instead of calling those Ukrainians who want their posteriority to exist “hateful” or “bigoted” or “xenophobic”.

    • puttypants

      I don’t understand your point?

      • Mark

        Read the item #4 in the article.

        Xenophobia, in Marxist parlance, is someone who is opposed to the demographic extinction of his or her race. If you oppose mass immigration, whose long-term result is the ethnic displacement, replacement and eventual demise of the native people, you are considered a xenophobe, that is to say, a hater.

        A hate crime, in my view, should be the contrary: if you support or lobby for policies and laws that will lead to the demise of your people, it must be considered a hate crime.

        I would change this:

        4) promoting Europe-wide debate on journalistic standards in
        a new environment, their correlation (i.e. “balance of opinions” vs
        “facts”). Promoting Europe-wide debate on freedom of speech and
        possibilities of restricting information / messages promoting war,
        conflict, hatred, xenophobia etc

        To this:

        4) promoting Europe-wide debate on journalistic standards in
        a new environment, their correlation (i.e. “balance of opinions” vs
        “facts”). Promoting Europe-wide debate on freedom of speech and
        possibilities of restricting information / messages promoting war,
        conflict, hatred, ethnic dispossession of the native population etc

    • http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/ Bu Buccaneer

      True. Put the immigration on stake and you’ll lose not only Ukraine. Millions of Poles traveled for work all across Europe and they have witnessed how prosperous cities and areas in Europe turned into shitholes within 5 to 10 years because of immigrants. All of the Poles aware of the consequences of the uncontrolled immigration will oppose them, pissing on “European ideals” and frankly I’m with them.

  • John Shirley

    I would like it if Ukraine had a group of people who had the time and resources to counter some of the Internet Trolls working for Moscow at the St.Petersburg “troll factory”.These vile little maggots have virtually high jacked most comment sites, making it a very unenjoyable experience for those of us that simply would like to post an honest opinion.
    One place they could start is “ABC news Ukraine”.
    Finally if a news site wants to help keep trolls off their comment site, they can tell Disqus that they will not allow an poster to conceal their comment history.This is a “kiss of death” for a troll.

    • John Shirley

      Addendum….Slizzh, would easily be exposed as a “pond scum troll” if there was no “Deal With It” on Euromaidan Press.

  • Vol Ya

    This needs to be added to the list. Eliminate putin’s army of russian trolls. Use whatever means is necessary to do this.

  • puttypants

    That sounds good but they better get started instead of making up more proposals. They need to have fewer meetings and more action. How long has putins propaganda war been going on for over a year and you just thought of us. Your luck that there are so many caring ukkies out in the world who care and have been trying to fight the Putin trolls on our own. Get more folks just on the internet. Especially when Bloomberg, NYT and other european important sites. You are terrible remiss on TV in the US.

  • Dalton

    So you must be the night shift?
    http://www.novayagazeta.ru/politics/59889.html