The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on Ukrainian media

by Anastasia Kyrychuk

The first online seminar of Media Dialogue 2020 for Pluralism and Understanding is successfully finished. It was the first step of understanding the media sphere in Ukraine, Moldova and Armenia and how Covid-19 affected the workof journalists and media.

Ukraine was represented by Lina Kush, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine. She talked about how journalist have to deal with the lockdown, special requirements and new rules. Participants were informed about the hard journalistic work despite the danger of their own lives.

However, not only the pandemicis dangerous by itself. Because of unexpected spreading of coronavirus and lack of confirmed information about it the societyis faced with misinformation and fake news. Besides proved info that warns and explains about covid, many media are still trying to speculate on the hot topic.

Not only Ukraine is experiencing bad influence and manipulation by media but other country as well. Due to the conversation with participants of the first online seminar the participants found out that the countries have a lot in common. The biggest impact in mediasphere is made by political parties that trying to spread necessary messages to the society. The oligarchy system that mostly owns journalism falsifies information and uses it for theirs advantage.

After Lina Kush’s presentation the project’s participants discussed in small groups the situation for media and journalists in Ukraine during the Covid-19 pandemic. For example they talked about the fake news that are spread in Ukraine concerning the virus and they found many similarities there to the other participating countries. Another topic was the effect of the pandemic on future journalists who study now and are not able to go to university as usual. They have to attend online seminars, stay in contact with professors and other students via e-mail or chat programs and getting to know new learning methods.

The groups also discussed solutions for media in the current crisis. Different ideas came up in the conversations, like for example to encourage the independence of media and to institute media critique for people.