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IMI Study: only 73% of TV and Radio Companies from the South and East of Ukraine Provided Ownership Data

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Just 73% of TV and Radio companies of the South and East of Ukraine published adequate information about the owners and ownership structure on their web sites, pursuant to the provisions of item ї) paragraph 1 of Article 59 of the Law of Ukraine “On Television and Radio Broadcasting”. This is according to the study of media ownership transparency of mass media of the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, conducted by the Institute of Mass Information (IMI) in January-February 2017.

The explanatory note to the study states that the IMI experts analyzed the mas media sites (for the printed media – the newspapers’ imprint), as well as the editions’ feedback to the IMI’s requests.

As for online editions, the information about their owners, i.e. specific last, first and middle names, names of owner companies, etc., are presented on the web sites of just 37% of online editions in the monitored regions.

As for the printed media, a complete imprint was available only in 23% of newspapers in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine. Most of them lacked certain information, subject to be provided in compliance with the Law of Ukraine “On Printed Media (Press) in Ukraine”. For example, the surnames of production editor, chief editor, price, publisher’s address, and so on.

On average, the editorial guidelines and standards were published only in 14% of media. In particular, the IMI singles out the “Nikolayev Center for Journalistic Investigations”, which provided under request a copy of the editorial policy and separately prescribed guidelines for journalistic ethics, as well as the “Donbass News” and the “Public TV of Donetsk Region”, where journalistic editorial standards are published on their web sites. At that, only 17% of TV and Radio companies published their editorial charters, subject to make public pursuant to paragraph 6 of Article 57 of the Law of Ukraine “On Television and Radio Broadcasting”.

The financial information on mass media activities resulted available on the web sites of 20% of the monitored media. In particular, it was information about sources of income, advertising revenue, procurement data of regional public broadcasters (OGTRK), and/or full financial statements.

The best transparency rate was recorded on television and in printed media (3.8 points out of 7, according to the IMI’s methodology), a worse transparency rate is shown by the radio (3.6 points out of 7), and the worst one by online editions (only 2.7 points out of 7).

Among the monitored regions, the best situation with media transparency was in the Donetsk region and Kharkiv (4.1 and 3.9 points out of the 7, respectively), and the worst one was in Lugansk and Odessa regions (2.8 points out of 7).

It is worth pointing out that only 32 out of 161 analyzed mass media sent at least some feedback to the IMI’s requests. The newspapers and online media proved great activity and assistance in conducting that study, of which every fourth edition sent its feedback, while only one in ten editions within the television and radio niche.